SBM Group: Best Growth Strategy Kenya 2019


After solidifying its status as a star of the Indian Ocean Islands’ financial firmament, the SBM Group set its sights on expanding its presence from Mauritius to Asia and Africa. For SBM, East Africa — specifically Kenya — was the obvious choice. Kenya has a booming population, one of the youngest and best-educated on the continent. The market presents unusual opportunities for growth, as an exodus of banks left a financing gap of an estimated $120bn. SBM entered the African financial market in 2017 with the acquisition of a minor bank with major issues; it acquired selected assets and liabilities of a bigger bank the following year – making SBM Group a strong player in the Kenyan market. For SBM’s expansion plans, acquisition trumps merger as the bank prizes its autonomy. SBM Bank is the flagship organisation of the group, which has accumulated nearly five decades of expertise along the way — experience it has used to transform two failing institutions into stable ventures. Since landing in Kenya, SBM has gone from 100 employees to 800, 10 branches to over 50, 5,000 customers to 220,000. Branded under SBM Kenya, the network now comprises 53 branches across the region. SBM aims to establish a Kenyan bank, run by Kenyans, for Kenyans, and underpinned by international best-practice. SBM has been on the radar of the judging panel for several years, having come to the panel’s attention for its resilience, strong liquidity, and unerring vision. This year the judges are delighted to present the SBM Group with the 2019 award for Best Growth Strategy (Kenya).