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Change in chairmen at ANZ

Kith Meng (left) stands next to ANZ Banking Group CEO Mike Smith during a press conference in Phnom Penh last month. Photo by: Pha Lina
Prominent businessmen Kith Meng’s six-year tenure as ANZ Royal Bank
chairman has ended, with his successor touted as the chief executive
officer of ANZ’s South and South-East Asia operations.
Kith Meng has
held the position since the bank’s launch in 2005, but the firm’s chief
executive officer Stephen Higgins said today that it was business as
usual for the joint venture.
Decisions regarding the chairmanship
of ANZ Royal were a matter for the bank’s board, he added, which
represents the two partners.
A shareholders’ agreement, he said,
requires that the chairmanship rotates every three years, however an
exception was made three years ago.
“In early 2008, reflecting
the early stage of ANZ Royal’s development, the board took the view
that the chairmanship should remain unchanged for a further three-year
term to provide continuity,” he wrote today.
Higgins emphasised
daily operations at the company would be unaffected by the transition,
stating: “Day to day management won’t change.”
The bank is
55-percent owned by ASX-listed Australia and New Zealand Banking Group,
with the remaining 45 percent by Kith Meng’s Royal Group conglomerate.
The
agreement between the two shareholders to establish the bank was first
signed in 2004, and the bank launched in September 2005.
According
to the most recent statistics available from the National Bank of
Cambodia, ANZ Royal is the Kingdom’s fourth largest bank out of an
estimated 27 nationwide, by measures including loans and deposits.
A
spokesperson at ANZ Royal Bank said today the new chairman is expected
to be ANZ’s CEO for South and South East Asia Mark Robinson.
Robinson
joined ANZ in June last year after a 25-year career at Citigroup
throughout Europe and Asia, and most recently served as CEO for
Citigroup’s South East Asia regional business.
Robinson joined
ANZ’s Australia-based CEO Mike Smith on a visit to Cambodia last month,
where ANZ Royal’s new logo was unveiled, with Kith Meng also in
attendance.
Royal Group, where Kith Meng is chairman and CEO, is one of Cambodia’s largest business groups.
Besides
its stake in ANZ Royal Bank, it is the full owner of mobile phone
provider CamGSM, which operates under the Cellcard brand and holds a 45
percent stake of the Kingdom’s sole railroad operator Toll Royal
Railways.
It holds a number of properties including the Cambodiana Hotel.
Last
month, it was revealed that the Royal Group is a 49 percent partner in
the Sesan 2 hydroelectric dam project in Steung Treng province with the
Vietnam Electricity Group.
Kith Meng – who is also president of
the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce – today directed questions about his
tenure as ANZ Royal Bank chairman to Stephen Higgins.
Phnom Penh Post
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