Home » Billionaire banker James Mwangi appointed as Kenya’s virtual university chancellor

Billionaire banker James Mwangi appointed as Kenya’s virtual university chancellor

by Mfonobong Nsehe
James Mwangi

James Mwangi, the prominent Kenyan billionaire banker and Group Managing Director of Equity Group Holdings, has been appointed as the first chancellor of Kenya’s fully-fledged virtual university, Open University of Kenya, by Kenyan President William Ruto.

The appointment was made during a prestigious ceremony where the university was awarded its charter, with Ruto personally gracing the event.

The news of Mwangi’s new role comes just days after his tenure as the chancellor of Meru University, a public university in Kenya, ended on July 20. Having served as Meru University’s chancellor for two five-year terms, Mwangi expressed gratitude to Ruto for entrusting him with the responsibility of leading the Open University of Kenya.

In his acceptance speech, Mwangi humbly acknowledged the trust placed in him by President Ruto and assured him that he would bring his wealth of experience and insights to the new university.

Throughout his time at the helm of Equity Group Holdings, Mwangi has played a pivotal role in the growth of East Africa’s financial services industry. As of the first quarter of 2023, Equity Group boasts total assets of $11.2 billion and a market capitalization of over $1.2 billion, establishing it as the largest lender in Kenya and the wider East Africa region.

Under Mwangi’s leadership, Equity Group achieved record-breaking profits of Ksh46.1 billion ($350 million) at the end of the 2022 fiscal year.

This exceptional performance solidified the bank’s position as the most profitable lender in East Africa, with its profit rising by 15 percent from Ksh40.07 billion ($304.2 million) in 2021 to Ksh46.1 billion ($350 million) in 2022, driven by increased interest and non-interest incomes.

Mwangi’s investment portfolio includes a 3.38-percent stake in Equity Group, with his holdings currently valued at Ksh5.17 billion ($36.25 million). This cements his status as one of the wealthiest businessmen in Kenya.

As the newly appointed chancellor of the Open University of Kenya, Mwangi’s experience and vision are expected to elevate the institution’s standing further and promote excellence in virtual education throughout the country.

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