THE story of the RHB group would not be complete without highlighting the two men behind it.
RHB founder Tan Sri Rashid Hussain needs no introduction – think of RHB and Rashid Hussain's name immediately pops into mind.
Understandably so, for this stockbroker-turned-banker had spent much time, effort and money building RHB into one of the bigger financial services groups in the country.
Rashid is one of the most successful bumiputra entrepreneurs in Malaysia. In less than a decade, he built a financial services conglomerate comprising a stockbroking firm, a commercial bank, a finance company and a merchant bank.
Rashid began his financial services career in 1971 with Strauss Turnbull, a family-owned brokerage in Britain. He returned to Malaysia in 1975 to work in Bumiputra Merchant Bankers Bhd.
He was seconded to various positions with Rothschild & Sons Ltd in London, Daiwa Securities Co Ltd in Tokyo and Salomon Brothers Inc in New York.
He left Bumiputra Merchant Bankers in 1983 to start Rashid Hussain Securities. Under his stewardship, RHB Securities became one of the leading stockbrokers in Malaysia.
Rashid is also well connected and counted among his friends former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Mahathir's then chief economic adviser Tun Daim Zainuddin.
He is married to a daughter of magnate Tan Sri Robert Kuok.
The completion of the merger between RHB Bank Bhd and Bank Utama Bhd marked the entry of Utama Banking Group’s (UBG) Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib as executive chairman of the RHB group.
Many felt Sulaiman had a tough act to follow. At age 35, Sulaiman was the youngest chairman with executive powers in a Malaysian bank.
Coming from UBG – one of the smallest banks in the local banking system – Sulaiman was relatively unknown in the banking circle.
It was only known that he was the youngest son of Sarawak chief minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud. A graduate from the University of San Francisco with a bachelor's degree in business administration, he is also the chairman of Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS), one of the biggest builders in Sarawak and a major shareholder of UBG.
He joined the board of CMS in January 1995, and was appointed group chairman in May 2002. He was appointed executive chairman of the RHB group in May 2003.
During his stint heading the RHB group, he rebuilt the senior management team and launched RHB Islamic Bank.
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