By P PREM KUMAR / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS
THE appointment of Tunku Alizakri Raja Muhammad Alias (picture) as the new CEO of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has met observers’ expectation that the successor for Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan will be from within the pension fund.
EPF chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said Tunku Alizakri’s internal appointment is a validation of the EPF’s “robust succession planning, which has enabled the minister of finance to choose a suitable internal candidate”.
“The appointment of the new CEO will ensure continuity in the performance of the EPF and assure members that the EPF will continue to run smoothly in delivering its mandate,” Samsudin said in a statement on Saturday.
“The choice of Tunku Alizakri as CEO will help further drive the social wellbeing agenda for the country,” he added.
Sources close to the development had told The Malaysian Reserve that two of Shahril Ridza’s deputies in the EPF had been suggested as possible successors for the position. Apart from Tunku Alizakri, deputy CEO (investment) Datuk Mohamad Nasir Ab Latif was also considered to replace Shahril Ridza, who was appointed Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s new MD effective Aug 20.
“The EPF is a huge fund which deals with contributors’ money and heavy domestic and international investments, thus they cannot afford to have an external candidate which could disrupt operations.
“Shahril Ridza was asked to propose a few names and the most prominent names were the two deputy CEOs to ensure a smooth transition,” said the sources.
Tunku Alizakri holds a Master of Business Administration from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Laws from King’s College, University of London. He has practised as an advocate and solicitor in the courts of Malaysia, and is qualified to practise in the courts of England and Wales.
He was appointed as EPF deputy CEO on Jan 1, 2014. Prior to joining the EPF, he was the CMO and COO of the Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre.
He has served as a strategic management director at Bank Negara Malaysia, a director and head of strategy and corporate affairs at DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, and a VP and head of group strategic planning at Malayan Banking Bhd.
Currently, Tunku Alizakri also sits as a board member of Kwasa Land Bhd, Kwasa Utama Bhd and Dialog Group Bhd.
As at Dec 31, 2017, EPF’s total investment asset was RM791.48 billion with a contributors’ fund of RM810.4 billion.
For 2017, the pension fund declared a dividend rate of 6.9% for conventional savings, representing a payout of RM44.15 billion, and 6.4% for its Shariah-compliant fund, with a payout of RM3.98 billion.
Meanwhile, Samsudin also expressed his gratitude for Shahril Ridza’s contribution to the EPF, commending him for bringing the EPF to new heights with strong dividends, enhancements to policies and improvements to the customer experience.
“On behalf of the EPF, I extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Shahril (Ridza) for his exemplary service at the EPF. We congratulate him on his appointment and wish him all the best.
“I have no doubt that Khazanah will benefit from his experience in making the EPF the respected organisation (that) it is today,” Samsudin said.