Co-operative Bank of Kenya Chief Executive Gideon Muriuki has been feted for paying dividends and retaining workers despite the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Muriuki was named Best Bank CEO in Africa at this year’s African Banking Awards for his efforts including, turning around Co-operative Bank from a loss-making lender into a profitable one.
The awards are organised by EMEA Finance. They recognise corporate leaders and financial institutions who through sound leadership continue to increase profitability, deliver affordable credit to the retail and wholesale markets as well as support local and transnational entities to do business.
Co-op Bank was among the few lenders that paid out dividends when there was a freeze in dividend payout in the financial industry.
This year’s awards had a unique perspective in light of the pandemic. The Co-op Bank Group chief executive was recognised for implementing key strategies to address challenges facing both businesses and households.
Mr Muriuki was recognised for the decision to sustain the payment of dividends to shareholders despite Covid-19, which offered critical relief and support to the over 15 million-member Cooperative movement.
In addition, the award recognised the decision of Muriuki not to retrench staff and instead, retaining them at the height of the pandemic.
The awards also recognised the successful acquisition and stabilisation of Jamii Bora Bank (now Kingdom Bank) as it offered much-needed stability to the local financial sector.
The EMEA Awards also awarded the Best Bank in Kenya Award to the Co-operative Bank, and the Best Asset Manager award to Co-opTrust Investment Services Ltd, a subsidiary of Co-operative Bank.