Maybank Group wishes to announce the retirement of its President and Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Amirsham A. Aziz, aged 57, effective 30 June 2008. Consequent to this, the Group is pleased to announce that it has obtained approval from Bank Negara Malaysia for the appointment of Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid Omar as President and Chief Executive Officer.

In the interest of a smooth transition and handing over of responsibilities, Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid, 44, will join the Group on 2 June 2008 prior to his appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer on 1 July 2008.

The Maybank Board of Directors would like to place on record its appreciation to Datuk Amirsham A. Aziz for his outstanding service, commitment and able leadership in steering the Maybank Group forward through the years as Malaysia's largest financial institution and in building the franchise to become the country's most valuable brand valued at RM9.6 billion.

Under his stewardship, the Maybank Group saw healthy growth and record profits which increased steadily from RM1.16 billion in 1994 when Datuk Amirsham was first appointed Managing Director, to a milestone record of over RM 4 billion the last financial year.

The Group has grown from strength to strength and its assets quadrupled to over RM264 billion. Market capitalisation of the Group grew from RM5.5 billion in 1994 to over RM47 billion currently. Shareholder equity grew more than five-fold from RM3.9 billion in 1994 to RM20.1 billion as at 31 December 2007 in spite of strong and consistent dividend payments every year.

Datuk Amirsham's prudent management and banking experience came to the fore especially during the 1997 financial crisis when Maybank's solid fundamentals enabled the banking group to stand firm despite turbulent times, without any need to call for additional capital from shareholders.

On the corporate side, he led the Group through a series of mergers and acquisitions which included that of PNB Republic Bank in the Philippines in 1997, as well as Phileo Allied Bank and Pacific Bank in Malaysia which were completed in 2001. It was also under his leadership that the Group embarked on a business diversification strategy which was the catalyst to accelerated growth within the Group and the expansion into non-commercial banking businesses mainly that of insurance.

The acquisitions of the life business of Safety Life & General Insurance, UMBC Insurans and the Malaysia National Insurance Group of companies through the years further reinforced the Group's leadership as an integrated financial services provider. Datuk Amirsham was also instrumental in the establishment of a strategic partnership between Maybank and leading financial and insurance services group, Fortis International, resulting in the incorporation of Mayban Fortis Holdings Berhad, the insurance arm of the Maybank Group. The Group's insurance business is currently ranked second largest in the country in terms of new premiums.

Maybank's market leadership in technology banking, solid consumer franchise and extensive branch network today is the result of a visionary strategy to bring business transformation and generate greater value creation for the Group. Over the last 10 years, the Group has invested significantly in enhancing customer touch points including expansion of the physical branch network which has nearly doubled since 1994 to over 450 offices globally, increase in electronic channels and the building of a virtual bank through Maybank2u.com, which today is the number one Internet banking portal in the country.

It was also during Datuk Amirsham's leadership that Maybank Group expanded its geographic footprint in the region from 33 offices in 1994 to 89 offices in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Vietnam, London, New York, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Bahrain. Maybank's international operations today account for over 16% of the Group's total profits.

At a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur today, Maybank Chairman Tan Sri Mohamed Basir Ahmad said, "We pay tribute to a banker who is widely acknowledged as a man of integrity, a true professional who is highly skilled, prudent and loyal, having served the Group for more than 30 years."

"Being at the helm of an organisation like Maybank calls for a special individual, a strong leader who is able to inspire and mobilise the best skills and resources within the Group. More importantly, someone with the courage, boldness and precision to execute the strategies of the organisation in the best interest of all stakeholders," he added.

"Whilst we are sad to see one of Maybank's illustrious sons leave the organisation, we respect his desire to opt for retirement and spend quality time with his family. We wish him good health and every success for the future," said Tan Sri Mohamed Basir.

Announcing the new President and Chief Executive Officer for Maybank, Tan Sri Mohamed Basir said the Board of Directors was pleased that Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid Omar had accepted the offer from Maybank Group. Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid is currently Group Chief Executive Officer of Telekom Malaysia Berhad.

A chartered accountant by profession, Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), United Kingdom and a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants. Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid has a strong track record in corporate and financial management having started his career in the banking sector and spent some ten years in the financial industry in various capacities prior to helming the UEM and TM Group.

During his tenure at Amanah Capital Group, Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid had served as the Director of Group Corporate Services cum Divisional Director, Capital Market and Securities overseeing the overall direction and performance of the division which included discount houses and money broking firms. He was also the Chairman of Amanah Short Deposits Berhad and a past Chairman of Association of Discount Houses in Malaysia. Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid had also served as a Director of Amanah Merchant Bank Berhad.

Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid was appointed as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the UEM Group in October 2001 and served until June 2004. With his vast experience in the financial industry and extensive knowledge of the capital market, Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid was tasked to lead the turnaround of the UEM-Renong Group. He completed 2 phases of financial restructuring at UEM-Renong Group that saw the listing of PLUS Expressways Berhad, the creation of UEM World Berhad and its listing on Bursa Malaysia in August 2003. At the end of his tenure, the UEM Group had been completely turned around from an ailing conglomerate with huge debt overhang to a profitable and viable group.

In July 2004, Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) where he has been instrumental in implementing various initiatives crucial to TM's transformation and growth. It was during his tenure that TM made the strategic decision to focus its international expansion and strengthen its presence in emerging markets closer to home. Today, TM is an emerging leader in Asian communications with a strong presence in the fast growing South / Southeast Asia market with a unique portfolio of assets across 10 markets in Asia, 8 of which involve mobile operations.

Dato' Abdul Wahid was also the recipient of the Malaysia's CEO of the Year Award from Business Times and Maybank / American Express in 2006.

As a Group, Maybank is in a position of strength for future growth in the region and beyond. We are fully confident that we have identified the right individual who has the capabilities and vision to spearhead our regional expansion plans, someone with the foresight and corporate experience," Tan Sri Mohamed Basir said.?

The fast changing landscape in the financial services sector and ever growing competition, he said, demanded that an organisation such as Maybank embark on a platform of growth that was dynamic, one that was exciting to the market and investors and at the same time constantly conscious of its responsibility as the country's financial services leader.

"We look forward to welcoming Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid on board the Maybank Group and extend to him the support and cooperation needed to take us into the next phase of our journey of development and future success," he added.

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