Developing coaching cultures for business impact: jubilee insurance and CBA

According to a late 2015 Bloomberg report, sub-Saharan Africa has been the world’s fastest growing region in the world over the last ten years, registering a gross domestic product of 51%. The financial industry in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Ghana and Malawi has seen particularly strong growth, outperforming other emerging markets by 11%.

Despite this growth in the financial sector, as of 2014 only 34% of adults aged 15+ in sub-Saharan Africa held an account at a formal financial institution. Improving access to financial services will be fundamental to realising Africa’s economic potential.

Leaders of financial institutions must be equipped to make appropriate strategic decisions and resolve complex business challenges in response to their changing external, demographic and technological environments.

Financial Sector Deepening Africa and Creative Metier have been working since 2013 on a project aimed at enhancing the internal capacity of sub-Saharan financial institutions to support financial inclusion and financial sector development more broadly. The need to build purposeful leadership at the middle and senior management level has been identified as a constraint to the capacity of sub-Saharan African financial institutions.

Leaders in FIs are under constant pressure and scrutiny to ensure the sustainability and profitability of their institutions. At the same time, their experience, like many senior leaders, is a lonely one with significant business challenges to address in a context where they are expected to have all the answers.

Most leaders need a sounding board to think these issues through. Executive coaching provides that sounding board and is fast becoming a critical tool globally to support leaders to achieve impact on business performance. It is expected that a thriving SSA market for executive coaching will make a significant impact.

This publication presents two case studies of financial institutions in SSA that have made an investment in executive coaching and can demonstrate early stage impact:

  • CBA is the largest privately-owned bank in East Africa, with representation in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In addition to providing services to the Corporate and Personal Banking market segments there is now also strong focus on targeting the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) segment.
  • Jubilee Holdings Limited is a financial services holding company with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. It has been in operation since 1937 and consists of eight insurance companies operating in seven countries in Central Asia, South Asia and East Africa. The Jubilee Insurance Company of Kenya is the company’s Kenyan subsidiary and the largest insurance company in the country consistently winning various awards for recognition of its leadership in innovation in insurance solutions and company management.