Boyden Sees Strong Growth in East Africa, focused on social impact, healthcare, education, private equity and high growth start-ups

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Boyden hires new Partner Farah Esmail in East Africa, as client needs drive growth in leadership for multinationals, social impact, family and private equity-backed businesses

Farah Esmail

Partner, Boyden East Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Boyden, a premier leadership and talent advisory firm with more than 75 offices in over 45 countries, welcomes new partner Farah Esmail as Boyden East Africa continues to provide exceptional leadership solutions and client service to social impact enterprises, family firms and hyper-growth, private equity-backed businesses.

“Boyden East Africa is culturally astute and demonstrates a deeply held commitment to the region’s social and economic progress,” commented Trina D. Gordon, President & CEO of Boyden. “We are delighted that Farah Esmail is joining the team as Boyden thrives on its work with trailblazing organisations in the region. She has magnetic energy in collaborative success, an impressive track record aligned with client needs and valuable experience in corporate governance”.

Boyden East Africa provides leadership solutions to multinationals, family businesses, social impact organisations and start-ups building innovative new models leveraging digital payment capabilities distinctive to the region. The team is uniquely connected to the Kenyan diaspora through its deep roots in East Africa and international engagement across Boyden’s global footprint.

Clients recognise the gold standard of Boyden East Africa. The team have a significant record of delivering results, for example for CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, enabling it to acquire a global expert in investment, deal execution and portfolio management. “I am delighted to see Boyden welcome Farah Esmail to its team. Farah Samanani’s keen sense for identifying excellent talent has supported CDC in shaping our dynamic East Africa team. Farah Esmail’s insight will enhance Boyden’s ability to match skilled and passionate leaders with businesses that play a key role in driving growth and impact throughout the region,” said Tenbite Ermias, Managing Director, Africa, CDC Group.

Farah Samanani

Managing Partner, Boyden East Africa

Boyden’s CEO track record includes a search for Copia Global, a leading retail goods and services m-commerce platform, built to serve 750 million middle- to low-income African consumers, even those who are remote, unbanked and unconnected. Through a network of 25,000 Copia Agents (local shops where orders can be made and delivered), Copia is able to serve over 1 million customers in Kenya and Uganda today and meet them where they are, online via a smartphone app or offline in person, whichever interface they prefer. “Boyden understood our leadership needs both as a start-up and as an organisation with a compelling future in m-commerce,” commented Tracey Turner, Founder & Chairman, Copia Global. “Farah Samanani enabled us to attract and acquire a global CEO with exceptional customer, retail and logistics experience. Tim Steel is focused on the low- to middle income customer and providing them with their everyday shopping needs. He has built a brand synonymous with quality and best in class customer service. He has also championed a life changing ecosystem between agents, customers and transport suppliers. We are delighted to have expanded into Uganda during the pandemic and look forward to further, customer-led growth.”

Farah Samanani, Managing Partner of Boyden East Africa said, “Boyden East Africa is in a sweet spot, with our skills and capabilities perfectly matched to the needs of clients in a fascinating business environment. Farah Esmail is an exceptional addition to our team, with strong consulting, corporate and board experience. Her personal drive and ethos have enabled her to achieve impressive social impact goals, including an innovative educational model in Kenya. Boyden East Africa will continue to support clients transforming people’s lives, as well as global investors seeking talent experts who understand these dynamic, complex markets.”

Farah Esmail will leverage her extensive experience with multinationals, most recently as Head of Kenya at Sirdar Group, as well as her affiliation with the Ibuka1 Program, a premier incubation and acceleration program run by the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). Affiliation involved helping organisations in the Program to structure their businesses, enhance visibility and gain exposure to local and international investors.

During the very challenging business environment brought about by COVID-19, Boyden East Africa has continued to deliver the right leadership for clients, sourcing exceptional talent globally and recruiting them to the region. In the last two years, Boyden has placed exceptional professionals from Spain, Germany, USA and the Middle East, helping them relocate their families and take C-Suite leadership positions in highly innovative companies, focused on implementing uniquely African solutions using global best practice.

About Boyden

Boyden is a premier leadership and talent advisory firm with more than 75 offices in over 45 countries. Our global reach enables us to serve client needs anywhere they conduct business. We connect great companies with great leaders through executive search, interim management and leadership consulting solutions. Boyden is ranked amongst the top companies on Forbes’ Americas Best Executive Recruiting Firms for 2021. For further information, visit
1 ‘Ibuka’ is Swahili for ‘emerge’.


Chris Swee, Boyden
Global Head of Marketing
T: +1 914 747 0172
Farah Samanani, Boyden
Managing Partner, East Africa
T: +254 791 242 192

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