Bringing a difference along with her wherever she goes is definitely the mark of Ms Ruth Zaipuna, a great CEO who, in one year, turned the story of the bank around.

Ruth Zaipuna, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NMB Bank Plc is a Tanzanian lender who drives the delivery of sustainable business growth for the bank. She started out in 2002 at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) where she specialized in bank audits and other financial institutions and she could take on countless complex roles.  

In 2011, she left PWC and took up the role of Executive Director of Finance and Chief Financial Officer at the Standard Chartered Bank. In 2017, she started working as Business Finance Lead for the East African Cluster in Tanzania, where she oversaw and led the Bank’s business involvement in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

Ms Ruth is also the Independent Non-Executive Director for Tanzania Portland Cement Company Limited (TPCC), the Tanzanian Leading cement company listed on Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange. She also leads the Tanzania Bankers Association (TBA) Tax Group.

She is an Associate Certified Public Accountant (ACPA (T)) with a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance and a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) degree in Accounting from the University of Dar es Salaam.

The Guru in the Banker

It was recorded that just a few months after taking her position in the bank as CEO, the disciplined strategic execution of the bank started showing in the result and the bank topped the market in 2019. In 2020, the bank registered TZS 206 billion profit as they passed the TZS 200 billion limit and this ensured that all shareholders got healthy dividends. This helped the bank to be resilient during the time that the Covid-19 Pandemic struck.

Her becoming CEO helped Ms Ruth realize how much talent Tanzania harbours and she is one of them. Though she is a woman, she can hold complex positions and excel in them and she is also a hard worker.

She acknowledged she experienced challenges, but she credits her team and the talents at the bank for putting them all to make the endeavours of the bank a success.

“As a leader, you must know the value that each of your team member brings to the table, and you must encourage others to play to their strengths well.” Ruth Zaipuna

She stated they could overcome the Pandemic because they prioritized the wellness and protection of staff and customers, while they also assured that people could access their services even though the pandemic was ongoing. They also tried their best to help those who needed capital and aid all their clients. They provided utmost support to all who were involved with their bank.

Ms Ruth aims for the long-term growth of the bank and expansion into local and global opportunities.

Regardless of her position, she does not neglect women’s empowerment as she takes time to take part in the Women Empowerment program at NMB teamed with “Women Arise” which empowers women by building capacity for them by identifying their talents, and mentoring and training them for leadership positions. Also, they have a flexible working policy at the bank that prevents women from getting burnt out as they get to easily strike a work-life balance and they also have a room where women can care for their children in the organization. She also hopes that more people would become intentional about gender equality.

Ms Ruth loves a setting where she can engage with everyone in the team, even though she is the leader. A team where everyone gets to decide.

Ruth Zaipuna is a trailblazer and a seasoned leader. She sets herself as a tenet that other women can follow. Her person is an empowerment icon that makes other women want to try their hand at doing more. Women are gems, women are precious and women can achieve whatever they set their minds to.

Written By: Joyce C. Nwezeh Obi-Akejelu (Writer, Social media manager and graphic designer with Africa4AfricaWomen/Assert/PAWES).


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