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KCB Launches Talent Offensive Against NCBA in Response to Safaricom’s Influence



John Okulo

John Okulo has been appointed as the director for corporate banking at KCB Bank Kenya, effective June 5. Telco giant Safaricom triggered a talent war in February, leading to this appointment.

Mr. Okulo, a seasoned banker with 24 years of experience, previously served in a similar position at NCBA Bank.

Annastacia Kimtai, the managing director at KCB Bank Kenya, expressed excitement about having John on board to drive the growth of their corporate banking franchise and contribute to the country’s growth agenda.

Esther Masese Waititu, who held the position since 2021, has been replaced by Mr. Okulo. Esther joined Safaricom in February 2023 as the chief financial services officer.


Ms. Waititu’s departure from KCB sparked a talent battle, resulting in the lender recruiting Mr. Okulo. He has been with CBA since July 2011 and continued his tenure after the merger with NIC to create NCBA in 2019.


John Okulo, the new director for corporate banking at KCB Group

Mr. Okulo has an extensive background in the banking industry, having held various leadership positions.

Previously, he served as the chief commercial officer at Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), where he successfully managed the commercial operations of the bank.

He also held the position of managing director at NC Bank Uganda and head of corporate and investment banking at Stanbic Bank Uganda.

With a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Gdansk, Poland, Mr. Okulo has acquired a solid educational foundation. Additionally, he holds multiple global and local certifications, further enhancing his expertise in the field.

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In 1997, Mr. Okulo embarked on his banking career as a management trainee at Standard Chartered Bank Kenya. This early experience laid the foundation for his future success and growth in the industry.


Currently, Mr. Okulo has joined the corporate banking division of KCB. This division specializes in providing a comprehensive range of financial products and services tailored to the needs of mid-to-large-sized corporates and public sector entities.

To strengthen their technical and financial leadership, KCB has restructured its corporate banking division into sectoral lines. These sectors include manufacturing, industrials, infrastructure and energy, financial services, and the public sector.

By aligning their services in this manner, KCB aims to drive excellence and specialization in each sector, better catering to the unique requirements of their clients.


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