The board of Kush Bank PLC consists of persons of diverse discipline and skills, chosen based on professional backgrounds and business expertise, integrity, and knowledge of the bank business.
Armando is a senior executive with over 20 years of experience in Finance, Policy, and Digital Transformation, including 15 years in C-Suite positions at financial institutions in Afghanistan, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Zambia. He is a fintech and business professional who has led digital transformations for stressed and growth-oriented organizations in the financial sector, with notable improvements to customer service, efficiency, and profitability. In addition, he is a senior advisor for the International Finance Corporation (IFC - member of the World Bank Group) on development finance and strategic market research.
Armando holds an MA from the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and MSs from the University of Padua. In 2020 he also completed a Fintech Programme with the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.
Michar is a Founder & non-executive board member of Kush Bank PLC. He has vast experience in accounting, particularly related to accountability in highly informal environments. In addition, he has a good grip of business strategy, project management, and risk management. He has previously worked with a Multi-donor Trust Fund led by the World Bank program in the Abyei region of South Sudan. In addition, he operates Canopus Co. Ltd in Juba and runs a conglomerate group of companies that provides a wide range of services, including construction services to the United Nations, international Non-Governmental Organizations, and the private sector in South Sudan.
Michar is an accountant by training and holds an MSc (Accounting and Finance) from the University of Juba and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the Sudan University of Science and Technology, College of Business Studies at Khartoum.
Mawien has a wealth of experience in product development, leadership, change management, strategy, business risk, governance, and international relations. As a reputable entrepreneur in South Sudan, he runs multiple enterprises, including BrightStar Construction & Consulting Engineering – South Sudan, where he is the Managing Director. He also provides consultancy services in business and construction for the private sector and government bodies.
Mawien is a graduate of Victoria University in Australia, having qualified with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies.
Reech is an advocate of the high court and a senior legal consultant in South Sudan. He is a senior legal practitioner and president of Reech & Co. Advocates. He also facilitates the registration of investments and subsequently provides legal and advisory support to international Juba power plant investors. In addition, he has recently offered legal services to high-profile private cases in South Sudan, some of which involved Human Rights cases in the South Sudan Government establishment.
Reech holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Al-Neelain University in Khartoum and seats in the South Sudan Bar Association.
Mohamed is a non-executive board member with a reputation as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and investor in East Africa’s petroleum and real estate industries. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer with Olympic Investment Group in Kenya and Managing Director of Olympic Petroleum Company in South Sudan. He is also a director and shareholder of Hson International and Buma Logistics Ltd in Nairobi, Kenya.
Mohamed holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a specialty in Computer Studies from the Africa International University in Khartoum, Sudan.
Deng has over 16 years of experience in the banking sector, covering Sales & Marketing, Risk Management, Project Management, Strategy Implementation, Business Expansion, Financial Empowerment, and Non-Governmental Organization & Public Relations Management. He is currently the Executive Director at the Humanitarian Development Council (HDC), one of the largest national humanitarian organizations in South Sudan. Before joining Kush Bank, Deng worked as a pioneer staff member of Equity Bank, South Sudan, as a Marketing/ Corporate Officer.
He holds an MSc in Finance from the University of Nairobi and a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. He is currently pursuing his second Master’s degree in Institutional Development and Management at the University of Nairobi.
Atong Ngor is an experienced board member, PMP certified, and internationally savvy oil and gas industry executive with a history of award-winning performance as a visionary leader for building company infrastructure from the ground up and spearheading profitable growth as high as 35% annually. As a member of the board of directors for Oval Petroleum Company Ltd. since 2018, Atong’s varied experience has provided valuable perspective, thereby cultivating a sense of partnership across the company, strengthening teamwork, setting vision, focus, goals, and strategies, and providing balance in the drive for growth with fiscal responsibility and emphasis on generating the highest possible ROI.
Her success stems from her drive and leadership in creating a company culture that nurtures local talent and promotes teamwork and knowledge sharing. In addition, her strategic networking initiatives have enabled the business (Oval Petroleum) to access international markets and positioned it for continuous growth.
As a graduate of the University of Khartoum with a B.Sc., in Mechanical Engineering (2009), Atong has repeated and recognized success in propelling start-up companies to the next level of growth and expansion while promoting women’s participation in STEM in the Oil & Gas industry. The recognitions include the Women in Energy Leadership Award, SPE South Sudan Sector, SPE outreach officer, SPE South Sudan Sector, and Trailblazer Award as the first South Sudanese Field Engineer, WIE.
Atong also serves as a volunteer at Acacia Foundation and Roots to Dreams. Additionally, she is a Mentor with Girls Education South Sudan (GESS) and a Registrar at the South Sudan national referendum commission.
Building on a successful career in financial services and project development, Ryan O’Grady was appointed as Group CEO of Kush Holdings in 2022. Leading a multinational team of finance, trade, and development professionals from a base in UAE, Kush Holdings is a catalyst in the African region to unlock the potential of assets, create value for stakeholders and investors, and move projects from concept to reality, through a dynamic mix of talent, capital and market access.
A Canadian citizen, Ryan has spent the last decade active throughout the East Africa region in the areas of financial sector development and frontier project creation. Previously, he served in various positions within the Government of Canada before moving to the private sector where he specialized in modernizing operations and transforming companies for expansion or acquisition within various market segments in South America, Asia, and the Middle East regions.
Having most recently served as CEO of Kush Bank, South Sudan, Ryan understands the potential and impact of frontier investment, coupled with the opportunity inherent in working to ensure that financial institutions are active in the development of the economies they thrive in. During his time leading the bank, Ryan expanded the mission of the institution to be an engaged participant in the creation of local and national solutions, and a hands-on financial partner for clients. This led to the development of major investments into the country, driving the creation of value chains in agriculture, energy, and financial inclusion, aimed at overcoming barriers to economic growth and social inclusion.. Today, Kush Bank has a robust branch network across the country, a responsive offering of products and services, and international linkages to support the financial and management needs of clients and stakeholders.
Ryan, his wife, Virginia, and their daughter, Kayla, are based in the UAE, when they are not traveling throughout Africa exploring the incredible potential of the region.