Nazir to step down as CIMB group chairman by year-end

By FARA AISYAH / Pic By TMR

Datuk Seri Nazir Razak (picture) is stepping down as chairman at Malaysia’s second-largest commercial bank, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, by the end of the year.

The seasoned banker, who is the youngest brother of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, will also resign from all positions in the banking group that he led as the CEO for 15 years.

CIMB told Bursa Malaysia that the board of directors will now activate its succession plan to decide who will be the next chairman and the exact date of handover.

Nazir’s departure from the banking group has been widely speculated following various changes at state-owned enterprises after Pakatan Harapan ousted Barisan Nasional in the May 9 general election.

“It was always going to be hard to find the perfect moment for me to leave CIMB — not too soon, not too late — but always with the firm’s best interest in mind,” said the seasoned banker who joined the investment arm of the bank in 1989.

“Over the past few weeks, I have spent a lot of time thinking about it and decided that it would be most appropriate for me to leave upon the completion of T18 (Target 18), CIMB’s four-year recalibration plan launched in 2014,” he said in a statement.

Nazir was appointed as the chairman in 2014 and his current term will end in August next year.

CIMB said Nazir’s designated successor will be announced in due course and the chairman’s priorities include the completion of T18, the finalisation of CIMB’s new strategic blueprint and the smooth hand-over of the chairmanship to his successor.

Nazir had resigned from sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd in July, together with eight other Khazanah board members.

Nazir’s decision to leave the government-linked investment company (GLIC) came after other high profile departures at GLCs, GLICs and state-owned enterprises.

These included Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim (Bank Negara Malaysia governor), Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar (Khazanah MD), Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar (Permodalan Nasional Bhd group chairman), Datuk Seri Johan Abdullah (Lembaga Tabung Haji group MD/CEO), Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin (Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera CEO), Datuk Mohd Badlisham Ghazali (Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd MD) and Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly (Telekom Malaysia Bhd MD/group CEO).

Speaking on behalf of CIMB’s board of directors, senior independent director Datuk Mohd Nasir Ahmad said Nazir’s visionary leadership, business acumen and professionalism have made CIMB a well-recognised, leading banking institution in Asean, and the group’s continued success is a testament of his legacy.

CIMB’s shares closed four sen lower yesterday at RM6.03.

Meanwhile, Nazir’s brother Datuk Mohamed Nizam Razak has resigned his directorship in Petra Energy Bhd.

The integrated brownfield services provider for the upstream oil and gas industry announced that Nizam is leaving to pursue other business ventures.

He owns 29.25 million shares in Petra Energy, the company said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.