Prof. Isaac Macharia: Meet The Surgeon Turned Chairman Of Equity Group Holdings

Prof. Isaac Macharia: Meet The Surgeon Turned Chairman Of Equity Group Holdings
Prof. Isaac Macharia Photocredit/Equity Bank Kenya

Equity Group Holdings Limited (EGHL) is a financial services holding company with its presence in the African Great Lakes region. Founded by Peter Munga in 1984, the financial institution is arguably one of the most successful companies in the region. Behind this success story, are people calling the shots and giving direction away from the glare of the public.

In this article, WoK brings you the story of Prof. Isaac Macharia – the Chairman of Equity Group Holdings.

Prof. Isaac Macharia Background

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Professor Isaac Muthure Macharia was appointed Chairman of Equity Group Holdings on 30th June 2020, taking the position from David Ansell who was going on retirement. Macharia was born and raised in central Kenya. He attended Thika High School from 1972 to 1977 for both his O level and A level studies. He went on to join the University of Nairobi where he graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MB, ChB). He then acquired a Master of Medicine in Surgery at the same institution in 1990. In 2004, he was a fellow of the College of Surgeons of East and Central Africa.

Career Journey

He began his career as a medical professional in 1984. He interned at Nakuru Provincial General Hospital. He worked in different hospitals in the country as a medical officer including Moyale, Meru and Machakos. He then worked with various international professional organizations including being a consultant for the World Health Organization (WHO). In 1991 he became a Senior lecturer at the Department of Surgery of the University of Nairobi. In 2001 he was promoted to become an associate Professor of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Head and Neck Surgery at the same institution. He later on switched paths and joined the corporate world in 2015 and two years later he was appointed as the Chairman of Equity Bank Kenya Board. During his reign in the position, he oversaw the restructuring of Equity Bank Kenya to become a subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings.


His appointment came when the world was going through a difficult time following the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. During his first months, EGHL raised a total of Ksh 1.1 billion from different donors including the MasterCard Foundation and the family of Dr. James Mwangi. The money was channeled to the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to the health care workers who were in the front line battling the disease. Following the intervention by Equity Group, the Covid-19 Fund Board was able to provide PPEs for the health care workers for over 18 months which played a critical role in fighting the pandemic.

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