‘Panel re­view­ing po­ten­tial suc­ces­sor to Az­man’

New Straits Times - - Business -

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.

PIC BY YAZIT RAZALI

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.

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