Brian Onyino, 32

Head Derivatives Sales, Structuring Business

ABSA (Barclays)

Brian is the man to watch in the derivatives market. At only 32, he has helped banks come up with structured solutions using derivatives, from scratch. His rise in the financial markets started at 29 when he was tasked to oversee a multinational’s treasury and solutions for 10 countries. At around the same time, he was then inducted to Absa’s Africa operations employee relations and innovations board as a member.

In rewarding his successes, the East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands Financial markets players overwhelmingly voted him last year as the face for innovation in financial markets across the region at the Inaugural Refinitiv Excellence Africa awards. Now he heads the derivatives sales and structuring business across East Africa and select non-presence countries. “Being a value-driven person has always centred me. At Barclays (ABSA) there is a deliberate culture of living our values in our everyday lives both at work and away from office,” he says.

In the wake of climate change, Brian is passionate about sustainability and he is a strong advocate for going green. On some days, he cycles to work because it is good for the environment. “Our
organisation has made a number of positive steps in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through various initiatives and as an employee, a simple act like cycling or jogging to work most mornings gives me the satisfaction that I have played a part on the bigger common goal,” he says.

Brian, who draws strength from his family, holds a first degree in Actuarial Science, a Master of Science in quantitative finance and is doing an MBA in Strategic Leadership. His work, just like in any other work environment, comes with challenges.

“I had to endure a number of rejections over my formative years,” he says. Brian sees himself as being part of the Pan African success story that Barclays/ABSA portends.

-Gerald Andae