Wednesday March 20, 2013
Shahril to take over as EPF chief executive from April 16
By SHARIDAN M. ALI
Shahril, appointed by the Finance Minister for a two-year term, will be replacing current CEO Tan Sri Azlan Zainol, who has been at the helm of the world’s sixth-largest sovereign pension fund for the past 12 years.
Shahril, who has been the deputy chief executive officer for investment at EPF since 2009, holds a Master of Arts (First Class) from Cambridge University and a Bachelor of Civil Law (First Class) from Oxford University. He was also the former managing director of Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB).
EPF chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said the pension fund was confident that Shahril was capable of continuing the good work of Azlan and leading the fund to its next stage of performance excellence.
“The EPF board is delighted to congratulate Shahril on his appointment as the new CEO as well as to thank Azlan very much for a magnificent 12-year tenure,” he said in a statement.
Azlan was appointed as CEO and an ex-officio member of the board and investment panel of EPF on April 16, 2001. Throughout his tenure, EPF experienced a massive asset size growth from RM184.57bil in 2001 to RM510.1bil as at Sept 30, 2012.
Prior to joining EPF, Azlan was the managing director of AmBank Bhd from 1994 to 2001, AmFinance Bhd from 1982 to 1994, a director of several subsidiaries of the AmBank Group from 1996 to 2001, as well as a partner of Messrs BDO Binder.
In a glowing tribute to Azlan for his landmark feats at the fund, Samsudin spoke of the many successful initiatives that had taken the EPF up several notches in the areas of operations, customer service, good governance, best practices, innovation, information technology and sound investment performances.
“Azlan has successfully evolved and transformed the fund into one of the best and most highly regarded government agencies in the country, winning awards and accolades for it.
“It was also during his time that the EPF was ranked as the sixth-largest sovereign provident fund in the world in terms of assets under management, and the 10th largest investment fund in general by Towers Watson in 2011,” he noted.
Azlan was also instrumental in modernising and enriching the service delivery of the organisation for the benefit of its contributors.
Improvements made by Azlan include speedier withdrawal processes, where a number of withdrawals now only take less than four days to be approved as opposed to between one and two months before, and a counter service that has turned into one of the most efficient counter services among government agencies in the country.
Adding to Azlan’s leadership qualities, Samsudin underscored the innovative approaches adopted to enhance the fund’s investment portfolio while keeping to its prudent investment approach.
Azlan had demonstrated a high commitment to incorporate a diversification strategy through intensifying its investment portfolio in equities, moving away from the conventional approach. It was during his tenure that the EPF initiated its overseas investments as part of its diversification strategy.
As a result, the fund’s investment performance has made consistently sound progress despite challenges arising in the external environment. For 2012, the EPF declared its highest dividend rate of 6.15% since the year 2000.
This translated into a record-breaking total of RM27.45bil being distributed to its members, an increase of 12.2% over 2011.
“We have been privileged to have had Azlan as our CEO to lead the fund for more than a decade and he will be very much missed for his treasured guidance and leadership,” said Samsudin.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg, in a report, quoted Azlan as saying, “It’s right to leave when things are good.
“I’m not exactly retiring. I just want to change my lifestyle a bit, take things easy. I want younger people to take over.”
Bloomberg also reported that Azlan would retain his roles as chairman of MRCB and director of RHB Capital Bhd.