Wednesday 21 Feb 2024
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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on March 28, 2017.


KUALA LUMPUR: The average age of the seven directors on the board of Public Bank Bhd is 71.57 years, with a median age of 73 years, based on the banking group’s 2016 annual report.

The oldest on board is none other than Public Bank non-independent non-executive chairman and founder Tan Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow, who is 86 years old, followed by the bank’s non-independent non-executive deputy chairman Datuk Seri Lee Kong Lam, who is 75.

Then comes the bank’s managing director and chief executive officer Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek, who is 74 years old, followed by independent non-executive directors (NED) Lai Wan, 73, and Tang Wing Chew, 72.

The only two board members below the age of 70 are also the only female representations on the board, who are its independent NED Lai Wai Keen, who is 62, and Cheah Kim Ling, who is 59.

Commenting on concerns about the group’s succession plan, Tay said it is an ongoing process.

“We are always on the lookout for suitable candidates, subject to Bank Negara Malaysia’s approval. In fact, over the past six months, we have appointed three directors in our subsidiaries,” he added.

The Companies Act 2016, which are being implemented in stages from Jan 1 this year, and which supersedes the Companies Act 1965, does not have a restriction on the retirement age of directors.

This would mean that directors can serve in their role until they are removed by shareholders, or until they retire.

The new act differs from the Companies Act 1965, in particular Section 129(6) of the act which states that directors aged 70 and above have to be reappointed by shareholders to hold office until the conclusion of the next annual general meeting.

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