‘Panel reviewing potential successor to Azman’
KUALA LUMPUR: 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) president Arul Kanda Kandasamy and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd chief executive officer Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz are among the candidates to succeed Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar.
According to a report on The Malaysian Insight, quoting sources, a panel was reviewing several candidates to fill the post when Azman leaves in 2019.
The news portal said the panel would report to Khazanah chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also Prime Minister and Finance Minister.
“A selection panel has been formed to look over the candidates who can take over from Azman, whose his contract expires in two years,” a source was quoted as saying.
The report said the shortlist from within the Khazanah leadership included executive directors Datuk Hisham Hamdan, Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn and Tengku Datuk Seri Azmil Zahruddin Raja Abdul Aziz.
The executive directors have been working with Azman through the years, ever since professional managers took over managing the sovereign wealth fund from civil servants.
“There is little to separate the candidates so the selection panel has started its work early to ensure the successor has time to understudy Azman,” said the source.
Arul Kanda was being considered for his handling of the 1MDB rationalisation plan, which he implemented after taking over in January 2015.
Azman has been Khazanah managing director since June 2004, after he left the boutique advisory company BinaFikir Sdn Bhd which he co-founded in 2002.
BinaFikir planned the wide asset unbundling exercise for national carrier Malaysia Airlines after the government bought back the loss-making airline from Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli.
It has gone through several management shake-ups and bailouts since then and has been taken private.
But Azman has found more success in Khazanah, turning it into a key investment fund that has total assets of RM145.1 billion as of end last year with a pre-tax profit of RM1.55 billion.
Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, who joined the sovereign wealth fund in June 2004, is expected to leave in 2019 after his contract expires.