When did you join Arise and what was your motivation for taking up this position?
I joined Arise at the start of 2017, just as the company was opening its doors. My first day was interesting, as I met a new colleague at the airport en route to Kampala for a due diligence on the dfcu-Crane Bank deal. We ultimately provided a USD 50mn bridging finance arrangement for dfcu, marking that first day with Arise as the start of positive and exciting journey. My motivation for taking up the position was rooted in my training in development finance and a desire to meaningfully contribute to the financing needs of SMEs, and ultimately to the growth and development of the continent.
What aspect of your job do you most enjoy?
I most enjoy the relationship building process we nurture with the top management of our investee banks. Here, I am reminded of the high-level interaction we have nurtured with Equity Bank, NMBZ and Zanaco, for example, which has helped us to unlock several issues such as corporate governance, balance sheet optimisation and earnings performance. Ultimately, I have gained a deep understanding of the strategy employed by each investee in its respective market, in pursuit of becoming the top institution by any measure.
What have your top 3 highlights been?
It is an interesting question, given that over the past 12 months, there were many highlights that I experienced at Arise. That said, my key highlight was the immense work and effort, which I led in addressing good corporate governance with some of our investees. Our view at Arise is that beyond quantitative measures, the sustainable growth and stability of any institution largely rests on how it is governed.
As a new outfit, one would naturally expect a learning curve. Another highlight, as such, was that the project teams I either led or was a part of ultimately developed strong working relationships with clear-cut objectives and a good understanding of how those objectives would be met. Through our constant interaction, we saw the emergence of a unique Arise culture, which I believe will prevail, well beyond any of us.
A lot is said about how individual growth is achieved when one optimises the work versus life routine. Naturally, one also meeds to strike a balance in terms of personal development. As a third highlight, and while sparing you the detail, I can best sum up my objectives as a huge success.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
The most challenging aspect of my job is to have to constantly stay abreast of how each task I undertake adds up to the bigger Arise view of the portfolio.
Sum up Arise in one sentence
Arise is a real game-changer in terms of how investors look at banks and other financial institutions on the African continent.