Analysts say that there are numerous advantages of appointing someone from within the group to the top position .
KUALA LUMPUR: Three company insiders have emerged as front runners to head Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) to take over from Abdul Wahid Omar who has been tapped as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
The insiders are Maybank Investment Bank CEO Tengku Datuk Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Maybank group CFO Mohamed Rafique Merican Mohd Wahiduddin Merican and Khairussaleh Ramli, who manages the Indonesian business of Maybank.
Although Bursa Malaysia Bhd CEO Tajuddin Atan’s name has also come up on the strength of his former position as RHB Capital Bhd CEO, the market expects Maybank’s appointment to be an internal affair.
“It is more or less going to be an internal appointment. If someone externally prominent is brought into the bank, there is an added responsibility of filling that position too,” said one banker.
RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd analyst David Chong said that there are numerous advantages of appointing someone within the group to the position as he would be familiar with the culture and practices of the group and get the “business of the day moving fast”.
However, Chong said if Maybank is to get an outsider for the job, it would bring fresh talent as well as fresh perspective and impetus to the business.
A case in point is Abdul Wahid, who himself was an external candidate, as prior to joining Maybank on July 1, 2008, he was the CEO of Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM).
Under Abdul Wahid’s leadership, Maybank expanded regionally. In the last fiscal report, the group reported a net profit of RM5.74 billion for the year to Dec 31, 2012, against RM4.88 billion a year earlier, while revenue was RM27.5 billion compared to RM23.7 billion earlier.
Khairussaleh, 45, who is the president director of PT Bank Internasional Indonesia Tbk (BII), was himself a product of TM. His last position in TM prior to joining Maybank was the group chief strategy officer responsible for group strategy, business development and corporate finance and the strategic management of portfolio of subsidiaries.
Khairussaleh, who became the group CFO of Maybank in November 2008, went on to head BII, which is Maybank’s Indonesian unit, in December 2011.
Mohamed Rafique, 48, was appointed Maybank group CFO on June 1, 2012. Before joining Maybank, he had spent about five years as CFO at TM and Malakoff Bhd.
Tengku Zafrul, 40, has more than 10 years of investment banking experience and has also been touted as a strong contender for the post. He was the group director of Kenanga Holdings Bhd before assuming his post at Maybank’s investment banking unit.