KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Datuk Seri Nazir Razak will step down as CIMB Group Chairman as well as other positions within the group by December 31, 2018.
The financial services group said its Board of Directors (BOD) would now activate its succession plan to decide on the next Chairman and the exact date of handover.
His designated successor would be announced in due course, it added.
Nazir has served CIMB for 29 years, including as Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for 15 years and as Group Chairman since 2014.
In June, Nazir, responding to a news report speculating on his exit from the group, said his term as chairman would end in August 2019 and he had not then decided whether to seek an extension.
Quoting sources, the report said Nazir, who is the younger brother of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was willing to leave before his chairmanship expired if told to do so.
This led to the Council of Eminent Persons Chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin saying it was completely up to Nazir if he wanted to resign before his contract term ended.
In today’s statement, Nazir said: “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.
“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, CIMB’s four-year recalibration plan launched in 2014. After all, my career mission has been to build CIMB into a leading Asean financial institution.”
He said as T18 came to a close, CIMB was now financially strong, organisationally robust and firmly institutionalised.
“We have an excellent management team led by (Group CEO) Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz and an impressive cadre of future leaders lined up behind them.
“The firm’s continued success after my departure will affirm that my CIMB mission has, indeed, been accomplished,” he added.
In the next few weeks, Nazir’s priorities include the completion of T18, the finalisation of CIMB’s new strategic blueprint and the smooth handover of the chairmanship to his successor.
CIMB said under his leadership, the group had grown from a fledgling corporate finance franchise into a top Malaysian investment bank, and was later transformed into a leading universal bank in Asean.
The group was listed in 2003 with RM9.6 billion of assets and a market capitalisation of RM1.5 billion.
As at June 30, 2018, the group’s assets stood at RM515 billion, and its current market capitalisation is RM58 billion.
Speaking on behalf of CIMB Group’s BOD, Senior Independent Director Datuk Mohd Nasir Ahmad said Nazir’s visionary leadership, business acumen and professionalism had made CIMB a well-recognised, leading banking institution in Asean, and the group’s continued success was a testament of his legacy.
“All of us are saddened to be losing him, but we respect his decision,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul said it was a real privilege to work with Nazir, who has been a pillar of support, a great mentor and above all, a highly valued friend.
“What CIMB is today — an institutionalised leading Asean universal bank with solid foundations — is a testament of his vision.
“He has always prioritised value-creation for all stakeholders and the Group’s business sustainability, a philosophy that the management has also embraced,” he added. — Bernama