In a strategic move aimed at driving growth and solidifying its presence in the Ugandan financial sector, I&M Bank, formerly Orient Bank, has announced the appointment of Mr. Robin Bairstow as the new Chief Executive Officer. This transition comes after more than a year of acting leadership under Mr. Sam Ntulume, who will continue in his role as the bank’s Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer. The announcement was made by Mr. Suleiman Kiggundu, the bank’s Chairman, who praised Mr. Ntulume’s leadership during the transition period.
Robin Bairstow, a seasoned banking professional with an impressive track record, brings a wealth of experience to his new role. He has been associated with I&M Bank since 2015 when he took the helm as the bank’s CEO in Rwanda.
During his tenure, he played a pivotal role in tripling the subsidiary’s assets to Shs1.4 trillion (RWF 491.3b) and significantly boosting pre-tax profits to Shs40.6 billion (RWF 13.4b). His leadership also contributed to the successful listing of the bank on the Rwanda Stock Exchange in 2017.
Mr. Bairstow’s career spans various financial institutions, including Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank NA, BOE Bank, and Nedbank, with international experience gained during a stint in Asia. This diverse background equips him with the knowledge and insights needed to navigate dynamic financial landscapes effectively.
I&M Bank’s expansion in Uganda began in November 2021 when the Kenyan-based bank acquired a 90 percent stake in Orient Bank. The move signaled the group’s strategic intent to establish a stronger presence in the East African region.
I&M Holdings also operates subsidiaries in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Mauritius, further underlining the group’s commitment to regional growth and stability.
Commenting on Mr. Bairstow’s appointment, Mr. Kiggundu, the bank’s Chairman, stated, “Mr. Bairstow’s appointment offers the experience and knowledge needed to boost I&M’s ambition of becoming Uganda’s leading financial partner for growth.” This development underscores I&M Bank’s determination to emerge as a key player in Uganda’s financial sector.
Mr. Bairstow’s educational background further augments his qualifications for the role. He holds a diploma in Business Management and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Leicester.
Additionally, he is a graduate of the South African Merchant Naval Academy, which reflects his commitment to continuous learning and adaptability in the fast-paced banking industry.