The Gala Dinner was attended by more than 250 business and political figures from Asia and UK, including a delegation from the Asean Business Club (ABC).
The evening also featured speeches by the Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Strathclyde, Chairman of the Advisory Board, Battersea Power Station Development Company, and Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia and co-Chair Malaysia of the Asean Business Club (ABC).
The Asia House Asian Business Leaders Award is a distinguished award that recognises an individual for his or her overall contribution towards economic success, professional excellence, moral leadership and service to society.
Past award recipients include Ho Ching, Executive Director and CEO of Temasek; Jack Ma, Chairman and Founder of Alibaba.com; and Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Group.
Sir John Boyd, Chairman of Asia House, said: “We are delighted to acknowledge the success and good works of Nazir Razak who has, among other things, underlined the benefits of cooperation and partnership across Asean through his support of learning, independent research and charitable works, as well as in his ambitious business strategy, demonstrating how a commercially successful Asean-wide initiative can bring people together for the common good.”
When receiving the award, Nazir said he was "truly honoured, humbled and overwhelmed to be presented with such a highly revered award."
"This award recognises the achievements of my many colleagues at CIMB who have been with me since our days as a small merchant bank with about 70 staff in Kuala Lumpur in the late 1980s, to what we are today – an Asean financial powerhouse with 40,000 employees in 17 countries.
"My career has also been about bringing together Asean businesses in support of economic integration, so this award is also a tribute to the team at the CIMB Asean Research Institute (CARI), and my colleagues at the Asean Business Club (ABC).”
Nazir closed his speech by saying that while the award was in recognition of his past achievements, he will view it as further motivation for his future as an agent for the changes that he has advocated in the Asean economic integration process and Malaysian political economy.
Over the course of his 26-year tenure at CIMB Group, Nazir steered CIMB from a small merchant bank to becoming the Asean universal banking powerhouse of today.
Guided by the principles of high-performance, strength in diversity and a no-compromise approach to integrity and governance in business, Nazir laid the foundations for the CIMB Group’s rise to become Malaysia’s second largest financial services group, the largest Asia Pacific-based investment bank as well as a world-leading Islamic bank.
Within and beyond the boardroom, Nazir exemplified that economic and altruistic motivations can be mutually beneficial, and his stewardship highlights the potential of bringing together people of different cultural, social and economic backgrounds for the common good.
Nazir has spoken consistently and often at many forums globally about the potential of Asean and through the establishment of the Asean Business Club, created a pioneering forum for regional decision-makers towards the goal of greater regional economic integration.
Nazir also championed the CIMB Asean Research Institute (CARI) in 2011 to help the private sector advance towards an integrated and competitive Asean economy for the benefit of businesses and people.
Nazir is a firm advocate of giving back and empowering the communities that support business, exemplified by CIMB’s establishment and pledge of RM100 million to the non-profit CIMB Foundation.
With the aim of furthering the corporate responsibility and philanthropic initiatives of CIMB Group, CIMB Foundation has since its inception in 2007 built a strong reputation for benefitting communities in Asean by supporting sustainable projects in the fields of community development, sports and education. - Bernama