Entire board of Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah resigns, leaves leadership decision to PM Mahathir

Entire board of Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah resigns, leaves leadership decision to PM Mahathir
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - The entire Khazanah Nasional board of directors have submitted their resignation letters after reaching a unanimous decision that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's administration should determine the company's new leadership structure.

Singapore's The Straits Times reported on Thursday (July 26) that Khazanah managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and eight other members of the sovereign wealth fund's board decided to resign after a special board meeting on Tuesday (July 24).

Senior government officials and financial executives told the Singapore daily that the meeting, chaired by Khazanah executive committee chairman Tan Sri Mohd Nor Mohd Yusof, unanimously decided to sign undated resignation letters that were subsequently submitted to the Government.

It said the move to submit the undated letters was intended to give the Prime Minister the final say on who should remain or leave Khazanah.

Besides Azman and Mohd Nor, the board of directors include Tan Sri Mohamad Azman Yahya, Datuk Mohammed Azlan Hashim, Tan Sri Raja Arshad Raja Uda, Tan Sri Andrew Sheng Len Tao, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, Datuk Dr Nirmala Menon and Yeo Kar Peng.

The Straits Times said the process of finding replacements will be closely followed by local and foreign investors.

It said there is strong speculation that any new leadership Dr Mahathir installs at Khazanah in the coming weeks will likely pursue management changes to the group's stable of investments, which have a combined realisable asset value at end-2017 of RM157.2bil and a net worth adjusted value of RM115.6bil.

Bankers said it could create some uncertainty among foreign portfolio investors, who are major owners of shares in the Khazanah-related listed entities.

Dr Mahathir had previously lamented that Khazanah, the strategic investment fund of the Malaysian Government, which he set up in 1994 when he was prime minister for the first time, had deviated from its original intention of holding shares for bumiputras.

He claimed that instead, Khazanah had become a convenient vehicle for the previous government to reward politicians and non-professionals with positions and lucrative compensation packages.

Khazanah Nasional Bhd confirmed on Thursday (July 26) that all members of the board including the managing director had offered to resign.

It said the move was done in order to facilitate a smooth and orderly transition under the new Government.

The board comprises:

1. Tan Sri Mohd Nor Mohd Yusof, Director and Executive Committee Chairman

Mohd Nor is the Chairman of Malaysian Airlines Berhad, and sits on various Boards, including Pelaburan Hartanah Berhad and several key investee companies. He sits on the Board of Trustee of Yayasan Khazanah and was formerly the Executive Chairman of the Securities Commission and Adviser to the Finance Ministry.

2. Tan Sri Mohamed Azman Yahya, Director and Executive Committee Member

Mohamed Azman is the founder and Group Chief Executive of Symphony House Sdn Bhd, and Executive Chairman of Symphony Life Berhad. He also sits on the Boards of Ekuiti Nasional Berhad and several Khazanah investee companies. He was formerly the Chief Executive of Danaharta and Chairman of the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee.

3. Datuk Mohammed Azlan Hashim, Director and Executive Committee Member

Datuk Mohammed Azlan is Chairman and Board member of several public listed companies and Government-related organisations. He was formerly Chief Executive of Bumiputra Merchant Bankers Berhad, Group Managing Director of Amanah Capital Malaysia Berhad, and Executive Chairman of Bursa Malaysia Berhad.

4. Raja Tan Sri Datuk Seri Arshad Raja Tun Uda, Director and Chairman of Audit and Risk Committee

Arshad is the Chairman of Maxis Berhad, Ekuiti Nasional Berhad and Yayasan Raja Muda Selangor. He was formerly the Executive Chairman and Senior Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers Malaysia for 18 years.

5. Tan Sri Andrew Sheng Len Tao, Director and Audit and Risk Committee Member

Andrew Sheng is Chairman of Khazanah Research Institute Board of Trustees and the Chief Adviser to the China Banking Regulatory Commission. His previous senior appointments include Chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong, Deputy Chief Executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and Chief Economist and Assistant Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia.

6. Datuk Seri Nazir Abdul Razak, Director and Audit and Risk Committee Member

Nazir is the Chairman of CIMB Group Holdings Berhad and a trustee of Rahah Foundation. He was formerly the Group Managing Director of CIMB Group between November 2006 and August 2014.

7. Datuk Dr Nirmala Menon, Director and Executive Committee Member

Dr Nirmala was Executive Vice President, Head of Designated Markets and Health Asia at MetLife Asia Pacific Ltd. Prior to joining MetLife, she served as Head of South Asia at ING Asia Pacific Ltd and was President and CEO of ING Malaysia Berhad, becoming the first woman CEO in the life insurance industry in Malaysia.

8. Yeo Kar Ping, Director and Audit and Risk Committee Member

Yeo is currently the Chairman of Kendall Court Capital Partners and one of its founders. She is also a Board member of Cenviro Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah. Prior to establishing Kendall Court, she was Managing Director at Citigroup Global Markets.

9. Tan Sri Datuk Azman Mokhtar, Managing Director

Azman on the Boards of several key Khazanah investee companies. He is also the co-founder and former Managing Director of BinaFikir Sdn Bhd, and was previously Director and Head of Research at Salomon Smith Barney and Union Bank of Switzerland in Malaysia.

 

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