This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 26, 2016.
KUALA LUMPUR: Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, the former chief executive officer (CEO) of CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd, has been appointed deputy CEO of pilgrim fund Lembaga Tabung Haji.
While no formal announcement has been made, Badlisyah is already stated on the Tabung Haji website as being the deputy CEO.
“It’s surprising that no formal announcement was made … Holding the No 2 position at Tabung Haji is a big deal, an announcement should have been made,” a source familiar with the going-ons at Tabung Haji said.
It is understood that Badlisyah has been there for about two weeks, and has been given a portfolio overseeing Bank Islam (M) Bhd, which is a wholly-owned unit of BIMB Holdings Bhd, which in turn is a 53.63% unit of the pilgrim fund.
However BIMB’s CEO is Datuk Seri Zukri Samat, who also doubles up as Bank Islam’s managing director.
“It is also very important that an announcement be made as [Datuk] Johan [Abdullah] is already 60, the No 2 position in Tabung Haji is a very important position,” the source added.
Johan was appointed CEO of Tabung Haji in July this year, taking over the reins from Tan Sri Ismee Ismail. Johan was appointed acting CEO in mid-May.
Badlisyah, who is 43, gained fame when he disputed the authenticity of banking documents released by The Wall Street Journal relating to 1Malaysia Development Bhd, which touched on US$700 million being transferred to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal accounts at AmBank Bhd.
While an internal inquiry was ongoing at CIMB, Badlisyah resigned, leaving the bank in mid-August last year.
It is not clear how the top brass at Tabung Haji have taken to Badlisyah being parachuted in to the deputy CEO position, which is a powerful and prominent position.
For its financial year ended Dec 31, 2015, Tabung Haji’s revenue stood at over RM4 billion for the first time in its history, while its profit after zakat and tax crossed the RM3 billion mark.
Tabung Haji’s depositors’ funds have gained fourfold — from RM13.3 billion in early 2006 to RM62.5 billion by the end of 2015.
Prior to CIMB, where he was with the Islamic banking arm for nine years, Badlisyah was the country head of Middle East and Brunei operations at Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings Bhd, which eventually morphed into CIMB.
Badlisyah also chairs the Islamic Capital Market Committee of the Malaysian Investment Banking Association and sits in various other industry committees.
In 2004, Euromoney named him one of Global Top 20 Pioneers in Islamic Finance and in 2007, he was voted Islamic Banker of the Year at the Islamic Business and Finance Awards and the Best Individual Islamic Banker in 2007 by Islamic Finance News Poll.
He was named the sole recipient of The Asian Banker Promising Young Banker Award for Malaysia 2007, in The Asian Banker Achievement Awards 2007 programme.