I&M Bank Rwanda gets new CEO

On 16 June 2023 at 06:03

I&M Bank Rwanda Plc has announced the appointment of Benjamin Mutimura as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective from July 1, 2023.

Mutimura, an experienced banker and former Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Bank of Kigali, will be taking over from Robin Bairstow, who will be transitioning to a new role within the group.

Bairstow has played a pivotal role in spearheading the growth of I&M Bank for over seven years.

His leadership saw the bank going public in 2017, overseeing the successful implementation of the new Finacle Core Banking System, and facilitating the construction and relocation to a remarkable new head office building in Kigali.

Among others, Bairstow has been a strong advocate for digitization, revolutionizing processes such as digital onboarding and loans applications. These efforts have expanded access to finance through a blockchain-powered mobile money application.

Under his tenure, I&M Bank has been recognized with numerous industry awards for its exceptional governance, product innovation, diversity, and inclusion. A statement from I&M Bank emphasizes the importance of cultural transformation in achieving these accolades, resulting in outstanding levels of staff engagement.

Bairstow’s successor, Mutimura, brings with him more than 16 years of experience in the financial services sector and has made significant contributions to the success of the organizations he has been part of. His journey began at I&M Bank Rwanda in 2007 as a Development Finance Officer.

He steadily climbed the ranks, holding positions such as Credit Manager, Head of Retail Banking, and eventually Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking until 2020 when he joined Bank of Kigali.

During his time as the Chief Commercial Officer at Bank of Kigali, Mutimura played a pivotal role in driving the development and implementation of the commercial strategy. He ensured the availability and distribution of competitive products, led strategic marketing efforts, managed relationships, and optimized channel utilization.

Mutimura holds a Master’s Degree in Development Economics from Louvain la Neuve & Namur University in Belgium, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the former National University of Rwanda. Additionally, he has completed a Leadership Program at Strathmore University and the Senior Executive Program at Harvard Business School. Mutimura is also a certified credit professional (Omega Performance) and possesses a strong passion for organizational leadership.

Bonaventure Niyibizi, Board Chairman of I&M Rwanda Plc, expressed gratitude to Bairstow for his exemplary service and guidance during his tenure as the CEO of I&M Bank Rwanda Plc. Niyibizi highlighted the remarkable growth of the bank, with assets expanding threefold and net revenue market share increasing by 35%. Bairstow’s influential role as the leader of the Rwanda Bankers’ Association was also commended.

Niyibizi also extended a warm welcome to Mutimura, expressing delight in his return to I&M Rwanda to lead the business in the ongoing growth strategy.

Kihara Maina, Regional CEO of I&M Group Plc, commented on the new appointment, stating that Mr. Benjamin Mutimura is the ideal leader to drive the ambitious growth plans of the Imara 3.0 strategy.

Maina praised Mutimura’s business expertise and determination in taking I&M Bank Rwanda to new heights of growth and development. Maina also expressed gratitude to Bairstow for his dedicated service and leadership, highlighting the opportunity to tap into his extensive experience within the Group.