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Wednesday March 6, 2013

Search on for new RHB Investment Bank CEO

PETALING JAYA: The search for a new head honcho for RHB Investment Bank Bhd is intensifying, with names such as Credit Suisse's Stephen Hagger, OSK group founder Ong Leong Huat and his son Ong Ju Yan being rumoured as likely candidates.

Industry sources said a new chief executive officer (CEO) was necessary not only as a result of the recently-completed merger of RHB Capital Bhd (RHB Cap) with OSK Investment Bank, but also due to the fact that current RHB Investment officer-in-charge Mike Chan might not want to remain in the driving seat.

It could also be that Chan's position was not meant to be permanent, but a temporary one before a suitable CEO for the investment bank was found, one source pointed out.

Ju Yan is currently an executive director at OSK Ventures International Bhd (OSKVI), as well as the chief operating officer and head of the investment bank at OSK.

According to the OSKVI website, his responsibilities cover various aspects of corporate strategy and he is actively involved in OSK Investment Bank's operating activities, with a focus on investment banking, treasury, institutional equities and research.

“However, Ju Yan, at 33, could be a little too young for the position, and hence, the senior Ong could be appointed as the CEO of the merged entity's investment banking business first to pave the way for Ju Yan later,” said the source.

Prior to graduating, Ju Yan had worked for Citibank Malaysia and Morgan Stanley & Co in Hong Kong. In 2001, he started his full-time career with Morgan Stanley in New York in the fixed income department. In September 2002, he relocated to Morgan Stanley's Singapore office, where he was responsible for covering the firm's Asia-Pacific clients for foreign exchange and interest rate products.

He has a BA in Economics from Yale University.

But another source said that there was the possibility of someone from outside RHB or OSK being hired as the merged investment bank's CEO.

Meanwhile, one of the rumoured candidates, Hagger, when contacted, said there was no truth to the rumour which had been ongoing for a few months, and that he was still working at Credit Suisse.

“I am extremely happy working in Credit Suisse and there is no reason for me to leave. Credit Suisse is a dream job to me,” he said.

When asked whether he had been approached by RHB Investment Bank, Hagger said he had constantly been approached by parties both domestically and internationally.

“However, I am very happy at Credit Suisse,” he repeated.

It is understood that the merged investment bank would be called RHB-OSK Investment Bank.

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