Khazanah speeds up on opex reduction to boost profit

The performance management system, which includes contracts of some of its management staff, will be revised

by AZREEN HANI / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

KHAZANAH Nasional Bhd’s five-year restructuring plan announced earlier this year will see a possible leaner workforce as the state-owned fund scurries to trim its ballooning operational expenditure (opex).

The sovereign’s wealth fund has conducted an internal reorganisation recently to improve efficiency, in line with its aim to optimise talent for identified business needs.

The performance management system, which includes contracts of some of its management staff, will be revised.

“Like a standard business practice, the firm will review the (the workers’) contracts, whether they will be extended or not after they lapse,” a Khazanah spokesperson told The Malaysian Reserve recently.

The spokesperson declined to comment on how many or whose contracts will be reviewed and how much would it result in the reduction of the opex, stressing that the firm remains steadfast on the plan, where the results will be unveiled early next year.

“The organisational restructuring we are currently undertaking will enable us to execute and deliver on our role of growing Malaysia’s long-term wealth, beginning from this year,” Khazanah MD Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan (picture) said in March.

Last year, the government initiated a corporate restructuring and reorganisation of Khazanah, which saw leadership change at the board and management, as well as review and revaluation of its investments.

“We started doing all this reorganisation and restructuring at the beginning of this year. The five Transitional Priorities are ongoing and executed over the next five years,” the spokesperson said.

The state-owned fund was among the highest-paying funds at one time, seeking to woo the best talents from international and local investment and fund management firms. But that had come at a hefty cost and high opex.

The board in 2017 comprised 13 members including former Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak as the chairman. Today, the board comprises only nine members including the PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Its senior leadership team comprised 23 individuals based on its “Building True Value” Khazanah Report 2017. Based on the website presently, the management team comprises 19 people.

Khazanah has also announced that it would shift its headquarters from Petronas Twin Towers to Mercu UEM in KL Sentral as the sovereign wealth fund seeks to reduce its expenditure. Khazanah is expected to take up a few floors of the building.

Shahril Ridza was reported as saying that move to KL Sentral from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers will save Khazanah at least RM20 million annually.

The fund, which was given a refreshed mandate has been divesting non-strategic assets worth billions, reducing its mounting debts and delivering higher profits.

The fund is expected to return to the black with over RM5 billion profit this year.

Meanwhile, Khazanah is hopeful to hive off loss-making Malaysia Airlines Bhd from its books.

The government has shortlisted four candidates to take over the ailing airline which is bleeding about RM1 billion a year, a cost that Khazanah does not want to bear anymore.