Rizal Rickman succeeds Zeti as Sime Darby Property chairman

Rizal Rickman Ramli has been appointed as chairman of Sime Darby Property Bhd with effect on May 7,2021.

KUALA LUMPUR: Rizal Rickman Ramli has been appointed as chairman of Sime Darby Property Bhd with effect from Friday, succeeding Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz who has retired after assuming the position in July 2018.

In a statement issued after its 48th AGM which was held virtually on Thursday, Sime Darby Property said Rizal Rickman joined the board as non-independent non-executive director on April 5,2018.

He is currently the chief investment officer, private & strategic investments at Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB).

Sime Darby Property also said Zeti, who was was the group’s first woman chairman of the board, had expressed her intention not to seek re-election.

“I would like to thank our shareholders for their unwavering trust and continuous support to Sime Darby Property. This support has been especially valuable during 2020, which has been one of the most challenging periods for the group.

“It has been my honour and privilege to serve Sime Darby Property since 2018 as chairman of the board.

“Sime Darby Property has a remarkable set of assets and with its transformative initiatives underway, the group is well placed on a trajectory for success.

"I have trust in the calibre and diligence of the board and management to ensure Sime Darby Property will deliver sustainable value for the benefit of all its stakeholders, especially its shareholders, ” said Zeti, who is the former governor of Bank Negara Malaysia.

(Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz (right) chairing Sime Darby Property's 48th Annual General Meeting which was held virtually. On her right, Datuk Azmir Merican, Group Managing Director of Sime Darby Property)

Sime Darby Property said throughout her time as its chairman, Zeti institutionalised a clear vision which paved the way for the group to broaden its income and business portfolio beyond the conventional and into new areas that will make the company more resilient.

As a result, Sime Darby Property now stands to benefit from its new engines of growth which includes industrial & logistics properties that are set to benefit from rising e-commerce activities.

“Her experience and strategic leadership were also instrumental in overcoming legacy issues faced by Sime Darby Property in the post-pure play demerger from the Sime Darby Group of Companies.

“This includes lowering the group’s unsold property inventory and introducing organisational reforms at both corporate and operating levels.

“Sime Darby Property is currently embarking on a transformation that will see the group evolve from a pure play property developer to a real estate development company with multiple sources of income, ” the statement said.

Its group managing director, Datuk Azmir Merican said, “Tan Sri Dr Zeti presided over the board during an important phase of Sime Darby Property’s history.

“The group is privileged to have benefited from her clear vision which has formed the foundation of our next phase of transformation. Her foresight to push for new growth frontiers in the property development segment will continue to guide the group well into the future.”

PNB, Sime Darby Property’s majority shareholder, also recently announced Zeti’s retirement as chairman effective April 30.

Zeti had during her tenure led PNB -- Malaysia’s largest fund manager -- through a transformational journey, which include diversification of its investment efforts into a broader range of asset classes and global markets, strengthening its risk and liquidity management capabilities, and embarking on an organisational transformation to engender digital innovation, operational efficiency, and initiatives to develop its talent pool.

Meanwhile, her successor Rizal Rickman at Sime Darby Property, joined PNB in March 2018 as the executive vice president of property/ real estate and assumed the role of chief investment officer, real estate in 2020.

Under his leadership, the PNB real estate portfolio has doubled in size and broadened its focus from primarily commercial offices into new areas such as logistics, industrial and multi-family residential.

The portfolio is now well diversified and includes investments in markets such as the United States, Japan, Australia, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Rizal Rickman was appointed as PNB’s chief investment officer, private & strategic Iinvestments in April 2021. In this role, he now oversees three divisions -- real estate, private markets, and strategic investments.

Prior to joining PNB, Rizal Rickman was country managing partner for The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Malaysia.

During his time at BCG, he advised clients across more than 10 countries and established BCG Malaysia as a regional hub for its business services. His areas of expertise included strategy development, business model innovation and growth, as well as corporate and industry level transformations.

Rizal Rickman is also a director of Velesto Energy Bhd since March 2018. He is also a board member of other public companies namely Pelaburan Hartanah Nasional Bhd, MIDF Property Bhd and Lanjut Golf Bhd.

He holds a Master of Business Administration with concentration in finance and operations from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Arts, Economics from the University of Chicago.

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