Najib's brother to leave CIMB at year end

Datuk Seri Nazir, the younger brother of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, has been CIMB's chairman since 2014.
Datuk Seri Nazir, the younger brother of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, has been CIMB's chairman since 2014.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/NAZIR.RAZAK

Datuk Seri Nazir Razak will end nearly three decades at Malaysian banking giant CIMB on Dec 31, the latest in a string of top guns to exit government-linked companies since the Pakatan Harapan coalition took power in May.

A statement by CIMB, South-east Asia's fifth largest lender and Malaysia's second largest, yesterday said Mr Nazir, the younger brother of former premier Najib Razak, will relinquish all positions including group chairman, at the end of the year.

"It was always going to be hard to find the perfect moment... to leave CIMB - not too soon, not too late - but always with the firm's best interest in mind," Mr Nazir said. He said "my CIMB mission" has been completed with the bank's four-year recalibration plan to turn it into a universal bank for the region.

On Instagram, he added that "I am 52 years young. It is time for me to commit fully to my next mission on the Asean stage", but did not elaborate on future plans after 29 years at the bank.

Mr Nazir was CIMB's group CEO for 15 years before moving up to become chairman in 2014. Under his leadership, CIMB's value hit RM58 billion (S$19 billion) at end-June. It was listed in 2003 with a market capitalisation of RM1.5 billion.

The Straits Times understands that Mr Nazir was among the earliest names listed by the new government to be forced out of office.

The sun is setting on my time in CIMB. I just announced that I will step down as Chairman of CIMB by 31st December 2018. The Board will now activate its succession plan to decide on the next Chairman and the exact date of handover. Over the last 29 years, I have had the privilege of a front row seat on the amazing CIMB journey from fledgling corporate finance franchise to leading Malaysian investment bank to an ASEAN universal bank. Thank you CIMB, #teamCIMB and #CIMBalumni. After our CEO transition in 2014 and then success of T18, CIMB is now financially strong, organisationally robust and firmly institutionalised. My CIMB mission is accomplished and final affirmation of success will come with my departure and CIMB continue grow from strength to strength. I am 52 years young. It is time for me to commit fully to my next mission on the Asean stage.
      
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2018, with the headline 'Najib's brother to leave CIMB at year end'. Print Edition | Subscribe