Jeremy Awori was born in Kenya in 1971 to a Kenyan father and a British mother. Whilst his father was an engineer, his mother practised law. He has two siblings; a sister and a mentally handicapped brother, whose condition he says has highly contributed to how he (Jeremy) views life and people. In his early years, Jeremy was extremely shy and started swimming to hide it. At the age of 9 he was already a professional swimmer and competed for Kenya while boosting his confidence.
After his secondary school education, Jeremy flew out to the University of Manchester and pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy. He attributes his choice of course to the tutelage he got from his father, which moulded him into who he is today. He then worked as a Pharmacist while saving up for his master’s degree. When the time came, he decided to try something new to broaden his career options, so he relocated to Canada and pursued an MBA in Finance and International Business at McGill University.
Jeremy got an opportunity to work at Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Canada after his MBA. The then CEO was trying his best to keep the branch operational and Jeremy performed outstandingly in his role. This led to a promotion as the head of retail banking, SCB Kenya, at only 28 years old. Soon after, he was transferred to SCB UAE, the fourth largest StanChart market then, as the head of consumer banking. Three years later he was promoted to Regional Sales Director, Middle East, South Asia & Africa. This was followed by yet another promotion to CEO and MD, SCB Tanzania, which was his last role with the bank.
At the peak of his career, Jeremy was offered two options, one at SCB Dubai and the other at Barclays Bank Kenya. His pick was based on two reasons. The first was he wanted his children to experience life at home, as they had mostly lived abroad. The second was that he was passionate about contributing to Kenya and Africa, and that is where he wanted his story to lie. And so Mr. Awori became the next CEO and MD of Barclays Bank Kenya in 2013. He confesses that the bank needed more work than he expected, but is glad that it gave him a far more challenging job. Seven years later, the bank rebranded to ABSA Bank with Jeremy still at its head.