Amana Bank announced that Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad (BIMB) which pioneered Islamic banking in Malaysia and is a 20% strategic shareholder of Amana Bank has appointed Mr.JeroenThijs and Mr Wahid Ali as new directors on its Board. They replace Dato Sri ZukriSamat and Mr.Jaafer Abu who were on the bank’s Board since the inception.
Mr.Thijs is currently the Chief Risk Officer of BIMB and had joined that bank in 2009. He counts over 20 years of banking experience having worked in Rabobank in Singapore, ABN Amro Bank in Amsterdam, Singapore, Tokyo and London and has specialized in the area of risk management.
Mr Ali is presently the Chief Compliance Officer of BIMB and comes with over 30 years of banking experience having worked in Bank Bumiputra Malaysia, HSBC Malaysia and Affin Bank Malaysia. He was also Chief Internal Auditor of BIMB for 5 years.
In making this change of its nominee directors on Amana Bank’s Board, BIMB has stated “Amana Bank is no longer in the inception stage where strategic decisions that may have implications for shareholders in particular related to corporate direction, business focus, risk appetite, capital expenditure planning, amongst others, have to be taken in an efficient and prompt manner. During the said inception stage, as part of the Technical Agreement between ABL and Bank Islam, Mr.Jaffar Abu, BIMB’s Chief Operating Officer-Business support was tasked to take a leading role in facilitating the transfer of knowledge and capability to ABL.
Having commenced its commercial operations in the second half of 2011, the bank has unambiguously moved to another phase of progress whereby the key focus areas include good governance, effective management oversight, broad operational issues and management of overall risks. For this reason, we are of the view that our Chief Risk Officer and Chief Compliance Officer are the most suitable persons to replace Dato’ Sri ZukriSamat and Mr.Jaafar Abu in spearheading the future growth of Amana Bank.
This minor change in Board representation on our part does not in any way alter our trust in and dedication to Amana Bank, our main partner in penetrating the fast-growing South Asian sub-continent. We sincerely hope that our unwavering support and steadfast commitment to the bank will help put Sri Lanka in a leadership position among other Islamic finance hub contenders in the sub-continent.”
The Chairman of Amana Bank welcomed the two new directors and stated that their specialized expertise would be of good value to the Board process. The Board also announced the appointment of Mr.Thijs to the bank’s Board Integrated Risk Management Committee and Mr Ali to its Board Audit Committee.
Chief Operating Officer
The Bank also announced the appointment of Mohamed Azmeer as Chief Operating Officer. Azmeer joins the bank’s Corporate Management Team and will be responsible for the bank’s Business Banking, Consumer Banking, Treasury and New Product Initiative units.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Leicester, UK, and counts 30 years of banking experience including Islamic banking.
Having begun his banking career at Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Azmeer ventured to the Middle East in 1989 to further develop his career in the banking field, where his first stint was in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. He subsequently joined Citi Bank, UAE where held the post of Vice President-Risk. During his over 10 years long career at Citi Bank, Azmeer was in charge of overseeing the business banking and risk operations of Citi Bank’s UAE and Oman operations. He was also sent on short assignments to UK, India, Kenya and Turkey during his tenure in Citi Bank. On the strategic direction of UAE, he was instrumental in launching Dubai Bank as part of the founder team, where he held the post of Credit Controller.
Azmeer’s first exposure to Islamic banking was when he joined Al-Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia 8 years ago, where he was responsible for reengineering and developing the Corporate Business in the Western Region. He further expanded his career in Islamic banking by joining Sharjah Islamic Bank, UAE where he held the post of Executive Vice President. One of the highlights during his term at the bank was his involvement in aligning the bank’s credit architecture with business.
The bank’s MD/CEO, Faizal Salieh, welcomed Mr Azmeer to the Corporate Management Team and stated that his international banking experience will add strength to the bank’s Senior Management and business growth.