Nazir Razak, the brother of Malaysia’s former prime minister, has decided to
step down as chairman of the country’s second-largest bank by the end of this year.
Nazir, 52, has announced his intention to step down from the board of CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. after 29 years at the helm, the lender said in a statement to the stock exchange. The bank will now activate its succession plan to pick its next chairman and exact date of handover.
“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,” he said.
The decision follows several other changes at blue-chip Malaysian companies in the wake of the surprise ouster of former Prime Minister Najib Razak in May’s elections, and the return to power of Mahathir Mohamad. The entire board of Khazanah Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, resigned in July, and the heads of the investment firm Permodalan Nasional Bhd. and the oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd. have stepped down.
“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,” Nazir said, referring to the bank’s three-year strategic plan that’s set to end in 2018. He expects to finalise CIMB’s strategic blueprint and handover to his successor before leaving the company.
“As you know, I am very passionate about ASEAN integration, and now I would like to fully commit to pursuing other opportunities in this arena,” he said in a message sent to CIMB staff.
After leaving CIMB, Nazir may focus on a private equity fund known as
Ikhlas Capital he set up recently with several well-connected figures.
Nazir confirmed his interest in the private equity project in an interview with Bloomberg in December, before the election upset.