KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 21): RHB Bank Bhd announced that its group managing director/group chief executive officer, Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli will be taking his leave of absence with effect from next Monday (Jan 24).
The announcement came at the time when Khairussaleh’s former employer Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) is looking for a successor to its current group president and CEO Datuk Seri Abdul Farid Alias who will step down on Aug 1.
“Maybank does not comment on market speculation. As indicated in Maybank’s press release dated Jan 3, 2022, the process of identifying a new Group President & CEO of Maybank is underway.
"Any announcement pertaining to this impending appointment will be made at the appropriate time,” said Maybank in response to a Bloomberg report that the country’s biggest lender is hiring Khairussaleh as its CEO.
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia on Friday, RHB said Mohd Rashid Mohamad will be appointed as the officer-in-charge/principal officer effective Jan 24, in Khairussaleh’s absence.
Mohd Rashid is currently the managing director for group wholesale banking of RHB Bank. “Further announcements will be made on the matter in due course,” the bank added.
Khairussaleh has spent roughly eight years in RHB Bank. He joined the banking group as the managing director of RHB Bank and deputy group managing director of RHB Banking Group in mid-December, 2013.
He subsequently became the group managing director and group chief executive officer of RHB Banking Group in May, 2015.
Prior to joining RHB, he was the president-director of PT Bank Internasional Indonesia Tbk, a unit owned by Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank).
In his tenure in RHB, he undertook an internal restructuring exercise involving a rights issue to recapitalise the banking group and to transfer the listing status of RHB Capital Bhd to its wholly-owned subsidiary RHB Bank Bhd in 2016.
RHB Bank was hit badly by its exposure to the oil & gas sector between 2015 and 2016 when the industry slipped into a severe downturn.
As the banking group regained its financial footing, Khairussaleh was in merger talks with AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank) to take over the assets and liabilities of AmBank in an all-share deal.
The plan was unveiled in June 2017, but it was terminated in August.
The two banking groups then commented that after much discussion and deliberation, they were “not able to reach an agreement on mutually acceptable terms and conditions for the proposed merger” without further explanation.
AmBank then strongly denied market talk that large contingent liabilities, which could be related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), had been found during the due diligence process.
“Our contingent liabilities are normal and not a cause for concern. It would not have affected merger possibilities in any way,” a spokesman told The Edge at that time.
Nonetheless, AmBank stunned the market in February, 2021, with news that it would be paying a massive RM2.83 billion to the Malaysian government as a global settlement for the group’s involvement in the 1MDB scandal.
On Mohd Rashid, he has over 30 years' working experience in financial markets with several financial institutions in Singapore and Malaysia namely ABN Amro NV, The Royal Bank of Scotland and AmBank Group.
RHB Bank noted he began his career in Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in 1988 and spent 14 years in the examination/supervision department, as well as investment operations and financial markets department.
Mohd Rashid holds a master in business administration with distinction from the University of Wales Cardiff, United Kingdom and is a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants.
RHB Bank shares closed down six sen or 1.04% at RM5.72, bringing it a market capitalisation of RM23.7 billion.