Return to Full Page

KUALA LUMPUR, 1 April 2024

Former AmBank group chief executive officer Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir will be appointed as the new chairman of Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd, according to sources.

Bank Pembangunan completed its merger with Danajamin Bhd in 2023 under Phase 1 of the country's development financial institutions (DFI) consolidation roadmap announced in 2020 Budget.

The second phase of the DFI consolidation - which will see Bank Pembangunan merge with SME Bank and Exim Bank - has yet to happen.

Sulaiman will join Bank Pembangunan with a view to overseeing the next phase of the planned consolidation, people familiar with the matter said.

He brings a solid track record of nearly four decades of leadership experience in the financial sector to his new role.

His career began at what was then known as PricewaterhouseCoopers Malaysia, before transitioning to Bank of Commerce Bhd.

Over nearly 30 years, Sulaiman witnessed and contributed to the bank's numerous transformations, culminating in what is today known as CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, where he eventually served as the CEO.

Following his tenure at CIMB, he took the helm at AmBank where he led the bank through an impressive eight-year period.

A financial analyst described Sulaiman as a wartime CEO, effectively navigating AmBank through notably tough times.

"Right from the start, he had to lead the bank through a RM53.7 million fine from Bank Negara Malaysia.

A few years later, this was followed by a RM2.8 billion settlement with the Malaysian government," the analyst said.

"Under his stewardship, there has been a noticeable improvement in AmBank's financial health. You could say he revived the bank.

"An industry observer said Sulaiman had reoriented AmBank's strategy, broadening its focus to include mid-sized entities and SMEs, alongside large corporates. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Sulaiman implemented a soft-landing strategy that focused on the needs of vulnerable borrowers, especially SMEs, according to sector sources. This approach significantly contributed to AmBank's seamless recovery post-pandemic.

"Given Sulaiman's deep understanding of the financial landscape and his ability to navigate through challenging times while steering significant growth and strategic shifts, it only makes sense for Bank Pembangunan to tap into his expertise," the observer added.

As at end-2022 Bank Pembangunan reportedly had total assets of RM27.02 billion.

It made a higher net profit of RM211.71 million for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2022, compared with RM176.44 million a year earlier.

« Back