Chief Operating Officer

at FSD Kenya
Published September 7, 2022
Location Nairobi, Kenya
Category Administration  
Job Type Full Time  




The Kenya Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) programme, FSD Kenya, was established in early 2005 to support the development of inclusive financial markets in Kenya. FSD understands financial inclusion as being about harnessing the power of markets to improve people’s lives.  Exceptional gains have been made in expanding inclusive finance in Kenya.  FSD’s strategy for the next five years seeks to contribute to the development of a financial system that increasingly delivers value for a green and inclusive digital economy while improving financial health and capability for women and micro and small enterprises.  Drawing on a detailed understanding of market systems and a clear vision of the future, FSD looks to address identified systemic constraints and bring about large-scale and sustainable change.  A broad range of partnership are core to FSD’s work encompassing both the public and private sectors, the latter including commercial players and non-profits.  The operational nature of these partnerships varies significantly and may involve FSD financing substantial programmes of activity, offering technical assistance, commissioning relevant research or FSD’s technical team simply collaborating on issues of shared interest.


FSD is an independent Trust under the supervision of professional trustees, with policy guidance from a Programme Investment Committee (PIC). Finance is provided by development partners working with the Government of Kenya (GoK).  Our current funders include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Aid's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).




The COO is responsible for driving all aspects of FSD Kenya’s operations to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency with which FSD is able to deliver on its goals; ensuring that FSD’s operations enable it to achieve its mission. In addition, the job holder will lead efforts to develop FSD’s operations, aligning resource use, business processes and use of technology with the evolving needs of FSD.


Role Description


Strategy idea generation

Aligning FSD operations with the evolving strategy

Detailed annual business planning for operations and programme budgeting

Serving as a member of the Programme management team (PMT) to effectively manage resources

Solving performance bottlenecks

Identifying and applying innovations to enhance operations

Structuring grant and contract agreements and deliverables to enable delivering on programmatic goals

Team leadership and delivery

Supporting the CEO in meeting obligations under the Trust deed and maintaining system efficiency

Effecting and delivering on FSD Kenya’s commitments

Delivering an enabling technology platform

Managing FSD Kenya’s human resources with support from the HR lead

Liquidity and finance management with support from finance team

Primarily responsible for implementing the FSD Kenya Risk Management Policy Framework and reporting on risks with support from risk champions

Leading the operations team

Managing direct reports and mentoring or guiding other staff for effective team working

Coaching staff and partners

Accountability and compliance

Fulfilling FSD’s reporting requirements

Reporting to the PIC on financial performance

Reporting to Trustees on operational performance

Ensuring integrity of all operational systems

End-to-end compliance across all aspect of FSD’s business

Enabling the Trustees’ to fulfil their fiduciary role

Stakeholder relations

Managing effective relationships with key FSD funders and banking partners

Reporting against donor grant budgets (high-quality and on-time)

Accounting for financial and operational results to the Trustees and PIC


Conduct of Work


The Chief Operating Officer will formally report to the FSD Kenya Chief executive officer (CEO) with direct accountability to the Trustees with respect to compliance, operational and fiduciary control.  The Chief Operating Officer will need to work closely with colleagues in order to achieve FSD’s aims.   S/he will have full managerial authority within the organisation for all aspects relating to FSD’s operations.  Project managers and senior technical staff will be directly accountable to him/her for all matters relating to operations including reporting, procurement and contract and investment management, human resource management and compliance.  S/he will be responsible for ensuring that the operations function enables the FSD programme to efficiently deliver.  The COO will have line management responsibility for the operations team.


Working arrangements will be flexible with the approach taken driven by the demands of the role. Communication and collaboration are of paramount importance to the FSD team’s effectiveness. Guidelines on effective remote working and flexitime are set out in FSD’s policies and procedures which should be strictly adhered to. Use of timesheet is mandatory, and salaries will only be processed upon updated timesheets by 20th of each month. Successful remote and flexible working requires liaison with team members and the full adoption of FSD’s technology-based communication tools.


Outcomes and Deliverables


The Chief operating officer will be responsible for FSD Kenya operational oversight and ensure FSD Kenya operations and supporting structure is streamlined and automated to efficiently and effectively deliver FSD Kenya’s current and future strategies.  FSD is managed on a strongly results based approach and its team is expected to deliver against its defined business plan and the specific annual targets agreed with the CEO each year to support the strategy and business plan. The COO will be fully responsible for delivery on the FSD Kenya operations. Formal reporting requirements must be delivered on time and to the highest standards.




Mandatory requirements

Master’s degree level qualification in relevant subject

Professional qualification in accounting, legal, and/or finance preferred

Strong communication and teamwork skills, and good spoken and written English

Successful track record in management of complex projects/organisations; ability to manage project portfolio in  USD 40 million range

Experience, Knowledge and Skills

At least 10 years of programme management/grants management experience including strong experience in compliance and risk, at least 5 years of which in Africa/Kenya

More than 10 years of working experience in a relevant environment

Strong knowledge of donor reporting processes (ideally FCDO/Gates/SIDA) preferred

Demonstrated ability to manage risk

Experience of HR management

Expert use of MS office (advanced Excel) and ERP Navision

Experience in drafting and structuring contracts (e.g., grants, services, loans, returnable grants, guarantees, etc.)

Desirable Requirements

Experience of working in a multi-cultural environment preferred

Financial sector knowledge/experience including with key Kenyan players preferred

Legal experience preferred

Knowledge of donor policies and procedures preferred

Familiarity with global development including financial inclusion preferred



FSD Kenya’s programme is delivered by a small, multi-disciplinary team. While each member of the team will have specific roles to play in the programme, the COO role is expected to have competencies at the Leadership level:


Initiative and decisiveness

Has a strong sense of engagement that leads to self-starting, taking initiative and acting decisively.

Motivates others by providing vision and direction.

Innovation & value addition

Generates value-adding innovation through continuous improvement, idea generation and creativity.

Systematically manages change and innovation and creates a culture within which innovation can flourish.

Drive for results

Strongly motivated to achieve goals and act with accountability to deliver quality results.

Leads others and manages for strategic success.

Thinking and problem analysis

Thinks clearly and intentionally in order to understand issues, solve problems and make good choices.

Thinks logically and analytically in addition to conceptually and strategically in order to manage complexity.

Learning and resourcefulness

Possesses the personal resourcefulness to deal with difficult situations effectively and continually improve skills and knowledge.

Promotes a learning culture and is highly motivated to develop others.

Relationship building

Initiates and maintains positive relationships with others; discerning and appreciating the values, concerns and feelings of others.

Leads and builds team work.

Communication and influencing

Deliberately adjusts behaviour in order to address the feelings, needs and concerns of others; communicates clearly, confidently and appropriately to influence others.

Networks strategically and builds relationships of influence.


Interested candidates can send their CVs

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