VIDEO; From a Pharmacist to a Banker, The Story of Jeremy Awori 

Barclays Bank Kenya Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Awori has for the first time shared the details of his personal life during the #BBKMindspeak Forum held on Saturday April 29th by Aly Khan-Satchu.

Clearly, he is one the few business leaders who have chosen to open up more than we’re accustomed to hearing from powerful people in the corporate suite.

Still, there appears to be a growing awareness by business leaders that we now live in a world where sharing details is not only valued but expected. Talking about the things that happen in their lives outside of work makes them both more accessible and more credible, particularly among the swath of their workforce who are millennials.

Here’s a look into who the man’s early childhood, family, education, career and where he is now.

Mr Jeremy was born in Kenya in the early 1970s. His father was a Kenyan by birth and an engineer by profession while his mother was from Britain and a lawyer by profession.

He has two siblings, a sister and a brother who is mentally challenged, a fact that Jeremy says really gives him a different perspective around dealing with issues that alot of people normally don’t think about.

While he was very young, Jeremy says that he was extremely shy and often hid behind his mother’s dress.  This made him to get into swimming.

“I got into swimming at 7 years of age and at 9 years, I was swimming for Kenya. This transformed my life in the sense that it gave me confidence as I began winning.”He said.

He went to Nairobi’s St Mary’s School, one of the schools that has been attended by Kenya’s current senior leaders including President Uhuru Kenyatta. Other notable alumni include Gideon Moi, Jeff Koinange, Lupita Nyong’o, John Githongo among others.

Later, Jeremy joined Manchester University in London for his undergraduate degree where he took up Pharmacy. After graduation, he says he began working as a pharmacist in the UK before leaving to go and do his masters in McGill University in Canada.

After his MBA, he landed a job at Standard Chartered in Canada, where he helped the lender in fixing its books as the bank was almost collapsing due to bad loans. Through this experience, he was appointed as the new head of Retail Banking, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, at 28 years.

Around that time, he went Stanchart UAE as the head of consumer Banking. UAE was by then Stanchart’s fourth biggest market globally. He eventually ended up as CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania.

He decided to Standard Chartered even though he had a great job.

“I wanted to come back home because my kids had lived abroad for most of their lives. I also wanted to contribute to Kenya and Africa. Thats what brought me to Barclays and my journey here.” said Jeremy.

“Its been equally exciting and Barclays offered a different opportunity which was; It had far more than I thought it needed to fix, it was a far more challenging job, and at that time it had really fallen behind in terms of its performance.”