Ruth Zaipuna picked new NMB Bank CEO

The Board of Directors of NMB Bank has confirmed Ruth Zaipuna as the financial institution’s new chief executive officer (CEO).

She is the first Tanzanian to hold such important position since the bank was privatised where at all the times the top positions were held by foreigners.

NMB Board Chairman, Dr Edwin Mhede, announced Zaipuna while confessing that the process of getting in a CEO was not easy since there was no bias except looking at the profile, performance and interests of the bank and the country.

He added that Zaipuna is uniquely qualified to meet the challenges and opportunities of this important role.

“A passionate and genuine customer champion, Zaipuna’s broad-based skills, leadership, energy and strategic vision will be invaluable as we move into the next phase of our development,” he said.

Dr Mhede said for a long time the bank was missing someone after the exit of its former CEO, Ineke Bussemaker, so the bank had Zaipuna as acting CEO for more than a year and a half but due to the legal requirement, the bank should have a leader.

Bussemaker was the director since 2014 – 2018 then the position was taken by Albert Jonkergow who held the transition six months before Zaipuna given the opportunity to act.

Zaipuna also contributed immensely towards NMB Bank’s generally positive financial performance over the last one year.

She has delivered an impressive programme of positive change which has been built around the needs of customers.

According to Dr Mhede, the process to get in a new CEO was completed on June 30, 2020; yesterday was the day to announce her, noting that she had all the qualifications required for the position.

Throughout the period they have struggled to find someone who meets the required criteria, but NMB under Zaipuna as acting CEO continued to do better while increased its capital to become the largest lender in the country.

“We are excited about the current direction and progress of the bank, and feel confident in Zaipuna’s proven ability to guide the organisation going forward,” he said.

He noted that for one year and a half the bank has made significant progress including a profit of Tsh93 billion it generated in the first half of 2020, while relations between the bank and government continued to strengthen.

He urged a new CEO’s focus to remain strategic while ensuring the effective execution of critical processes, procedures, and systems required to better serve their customers.

Speaking immediately after her appointment, Zaipuna said it was a conquest nomination, promising to cooperate with other staff because everyone has contribution in accordance to the position.

She urged her colleagues to be more dedicated in serving Tanzanians.

“I am honoured and energised by the opportunity to assume leadership of this great institution, which is important to our financial system and in the midst of fundamental change. I have deep respect for all the work that has taken place to transform NMB Bank’’, she said, adding:

‘’I look forward to working closely with the board, members of the management team, and team members. I am committed to fully engaging with all of our stakeholders including regulators, customers, investors, and communities.”

She mentioned the five priorities to execute, including NMB to continue to grow every year and become the number one bank in the country, the bank continue to be the customer choice, increase and strengthen relationships with customers and employees, and to continue to improve the income of employees in order to inspire the youth.

According to her, this would be possible if every staff will maintain a discipline and commitment to implement various strategies, saying she will maintain the current pace.

Regarding the shareholders, Zaipuna named the government and the Dutch Rabo Bank to allay their fears about NMB as it is a stand-alone institution for giving hope to the people so they will keep up the pace at all times.

Earlier, a board member, Margaret Ikongo, said with such a shift, the bank hopes to improve its competitiveness through providing faster decision making, greater digital capability and the ability to address the direct expense base.

She urged board members to give their full support to their new CE0 as the great work she is going to do since she is the bearer of the organisation’s vision.

Ikongo urged Zaipuna to work close with the bank employees realising that everyone has a great contribution to the bank.

 NMB Board Chairman, Dr Edwin Mhede (above) congratulates Ms Ruth Zaipuna.