Mr. Irwin joined the Board as a Non-Executive Independent Director in September 2004 and was subsequently appointed as Board Chairman in October 2009.
Since his appointment as Board Chairman, Mr. Irwin helped establish I&M Bank (Rwanda) Plc as an innovative and digital-oriented Bank. Under his leadership, the Bank made great strides with the launch of the first electronic banking platform in Rwanda in 2007, overseeing the acquisition of the majority stake by I&M Holdings in 2012 and the listing of I&M Bank (Rwanda) Plc on the Rwanda Stock Exchange in 2017.
During his 16-year tenure, the Bank grew by 26-fold its loan portfolio from Rwf 8 billion in Dec-2004 to Rwf 208 billion by September 2020 and grew by 10-fold its deposit liabilities from Rwf 29 billion to Rwf287 billion in the same period.
The Bank is extraordinarily grateful to him for his leadership in fulfilling its vision to contribute to the economic and financial development of the country and transform the Bank in one of the key market players.
Mr. Bonaventure Niyibizi takes over the leadership, having prior experience with I&M Bank (Rwanda) Plc as an Independent Non-Executive Director from December 2015 to December 2017. He is the first Rwandan in the modern history of the Bank to serve in this capacity and brings onboard a vast experience and knowledge having spent a significant part of his career in senior roles in both public and private sectors including financial services industry in Rwanda.
His experience serving as Minister of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives (MINICOM) and former Director General of the then Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (now Rwanda Development Board) is an added asset that will ensure the Bank plays its role in getting the private sector to contribute to Rwanda’s development. This will be done through ensuring attraction and development of Rwandan talents.
Over the next few years, I&M Bank (Rwanda) Plc places a synergetic focus on its plans to position the Bank to support customers against a backdrop of an economy recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commenting on the appointment, Mr. Robin Bairstow, Chief Executive Officer of I&M Bank (Rwanda) Plc said, “We are truly excited with the appointment of our new Board Chairman who will lead the Bank into its next phase. Mr. Niyibizi has an enviable and proven track record in the pursuit of business excellence. He identifies with our commitment to corporate governance and the strategic direction in which the Bank is headed. We look forward to achieving the vision of the Bank through his leadership.”
The CEO added, “We are grateful for the selfless commitment and dedication of our former and pioneer Board Chair, Mr. William Irwin, under whose astute leadership the Bank has grown to be one of the largest and most respected Banks on the market.”
On his part, Mr. Niyibizi expressed delight for the appointment and committed to collaborate with colleagues to take the bank to greater heights. “This presents a great opportunity for me to partner with the other members of the Board, Management and Staff of the Bank to spearhead initiatives, policies and strategies that are guaranteed to move the Bank to its next phase and position it as a market leader in the banking industry. I&M Bank is poised for greatness,” he said.
About I&M Bank (Rwanda) Plc
Incorporated in 1963, I&M Bank (Rwanda) Plc is the oldest Bank in Rwanda. It is today a leading player in the industry with a strong footprint across the country. The Bank, which is listed on the Rwanda stock exchange, is a subsidiary of I&M Holdings Plc (“the Holding”), a leading regional financial services group in East Africa.
The Holding has other operations in Kenya, Tanzania and Mauritius and is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. I&M group has a long history in banking and has established a wide network of correspondent Banks across the globe and enjoys a strong relationship with the leading international Development Financial Institutions.