PNB CEO Jalil resigns

Permodalan Nasional Bhd CEO Jalil Rasheed has resigned, sources tell FocusMIt is understood that the embattled chief of one of the country’s largest asset managers has tendered his resignation and an official announcement will be made soon. 

Jalil’s resignation has been the subject of speculation over the weekend after The Edge reported on Saturday that the 38-year-old might be shown the exit due to certain “issues” over his appointment as PNB CEO.

But sources close to FocusM said that Jalil had tendered his notice which will be deliberated by the board today. Names for his successors have been bandied about too, including the likes of Khazanah Nasional Bhd executive director Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn and Maybank group president and CEO Abdul Farid Alias.

Credit Suisse Securities (Malaysia) country head Stephen Hagger in a note to clients also confirmed the rumours that Jalil had quit his post. 

“Jalil has resigned,” Hagger wrote in the lede of his note to clients today titled “Politics: Eaten by the sharks.”

Another development comes by way of lawyer Rosli Dahlan’s appointment onto the board of PNB as director.

In his note, Hagger came to Jalil’s defence. “The key thing is he knows right from wrong, is not afraid and understands markets, but is of course now swimming with the sharks. Given that he is cut from Aberdeen cloth, he will likely focus on the governance of investee companies, working through their respective boards to create value,” he wrote. 

Hagger said Jalil had “done that very rare thing in Malaysia and that is to resign in order to protect his own principles and maintain his integrity. Before he started, he made it very clear that he would resign rather than cross a red line.”

Acknowledging that while he didn’t know the details of these red lines, Hagger said: “it is likely to be related to refusing to give ‘side income jobs’ to politicians and refusing to turn a blind eye to malfeasance.”

Prior to PNB, according to his LinkedIn profile, Jalil spent roughly eight years at Aberdeen Standard Investments from August 2005 before taking up the post of CEO at Invesco Ltd for the next six years from April 2013. He would quit Invesco to take up the role at PNB in October last year. 

Jalil recently unveiled a 2020-2022 strategic plan called Focus 4 which, among others, would see PNB take up a more active shareholder role in its strategic companies. 

But all that hangs in the balance after he faced scrutiny especially over his education and working credentials which, ultimately, led to him tendering his resignation. – June 15, 2020

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