Equity Group has tapped long-serving manager Mary Wangari Wamae as its new group executive director overseeing the business' subsidiaries. Ms Wamae, who has been Equity's Company Secretary and Director for Strategy and Legal Services, becomes the senior-most woman executive at the bank and next in hierarchy to Group Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi.
Equity is Kenya's largest bank by customer accounts. Ms Wamae has worked at the lender for 14 years.
She will be charged with overseeing the management of the group's banking subsidiaries in DRC Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan.
"These promotions and recent appointments affirm Equity Group as an equal opportunity employer," said Mr Mwangi.
"The group's organisational structure is evolving to match its transformation of and the complexity of its regional operations," he added.
Ms Wamae, an Advocate of the High Court, joined the lender when it was a building society in 2004 as head of legal services before her promotion to company secretary in 2005.
Three years later she rose to become director of corporate strategy, legal services and company secretary then became group company secretary. In 2014 Ms Wamae was promoted to group director of strategy, legal services and company secretary, a position she held until her recent promotion.
Her previous position has been split into two posts of group director of legal services and company secretary, which has been taken up by Christine Akinyi Browne, and group director of strategy, strategic partnerships and investor relations taken up by Brent Malahay, the bank said.
Ms Wamae was the team leader in facilitating the first strategic investment in Equity Bank by AfriCap Microfinance Fund in 2002. The bank said in a statement that she has in subsequent years led the group in several strategic projects. They include the conversion of Equity Building Society into a bank in 2004, the bank's listing on the Nairobi Stock Exchange in 2006 and its private capital raising of $185 million (Sh18.5 billion) by Helios EB Investors in 2007.