Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Tan Sri Abdul Farid Alias, Former President and CEO, Maybank, Malaysia

5 min read

By The Asian Banker

Tan Sri Abdul Farid Alias has made a lasting contribution to the reorganisation and consolidation of Maybank as the largest financial services group in Malaysia, and one of the biggest banking groups in Southeast Asia, as well as left an indelible mark on the advancement of the Malaysian banking and financial services industry.

The William “Bill” Seidman Award for Lifetime Achievement

The William “Bill” Seidman Award for Lifetime Leadership Achievement in the Financial Services Industry is presented in memory of Bill Seidman, chairman of the US Federal Depository Insurance Corporation from 1985 to 1991. He was also the founding chairman of the Resolution Trust Corporation of the US. Seidman was a regular guest at The Asian Banker Summit since 2001. He was a member of the advisory council that selected winners for the leadership awards. The Asian Banker inaugurated this award in 2010 with the blessings of his family. 

The William “Bill” Seidman Awards for Lifetime Leadership Achievement in the Financial Service Industry recognises individuals who reshaped not only the institutions they worked for, but the entire financial services industry in their respective countries and regions. The Asian Banker seeks to recognise people who are considered achievers in the industry because of their lifetime contributions and leadership. This is the most prestigious of the achievement awards, as it recognises those who have distinguished their reputations, skills and achievements over a lifetime, setting the benchmark from which others are assessed. Lifetime leadership winners recognised in the past have made considerable contributions to the building of institutions that have gone from strength to strength, and in some cases have created an entire industry in their respective countries.

 

Tan Sri Abdul Farid Alias has made a lasting contribution to the reorganisation and consolidation of Maybank as the largest financial services group in Malaysia, and one of the biggest banking groups in Southeast Asia, as well as left an indelible mark on the advancement of the Malaysian banking and financial services industry.

Under his leadership, Maybank strengthened its operations and position in the primary markets of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, as well as seven other countries in Southeast Asia, Greater China, Dubai and the financial centres in London and New York. 

Today, Maybank is a leading and respected universal bank that provides retail banking, corporate and commercial banking, investment banking and insurance services. Through its subsidiary, Maybank Islamic, is also one of the biggest Islamic banks in the world. Maybank employs slightly over 42,000 employees and has a balance sheet of over $200 billion.

Alias has demonstrated an extensive knowledge of the banking industry in this region and proven executive experience across a range of businesses. Maybank was in the throes of its regional expansion journey and Basel III implementation when he took charge in 2013. Throughout his tenure at the helm, he emphasised improving capital and liquidity position and put more efforts in ensuring its compliance and risk management as a leading player in the banking industry. Maybank’s total capital ratio has improved from 15.66% in 2013 to 19.52% at the year end of 2021. 

Alias has also made Maybank a leader in digital transformation among peers. The bank embarked on its digital transformation journey since 2014. Under his leadership, Maybank has provided wide range of digital products and services, seamlessly integrated into customer’s daily life. He drives the bank to continuously defend and grow key customer markets in the era of digitalisation without losing sight of its core principle --- humanising banking. Maybank offers digital banking services via its Maybank2u app, which “blurs the line between bank and digital wallet”. The app, which was launched in October 2020, is built with a unique ecosystem and goes beyond being just a banking app. 

Additionally, he believes that Maybank is already imbued with all the features of a digital bank, especially given the initiatives and programmes that have been introduced over the past few years, such as the SME digital financing programme. In fact, more of such programmes are slated to be rolled out later this year.

Under his leadership, Maybank is poised to lead the fast-growing digital banking area. Having served the banking sector for over 30 years, he retired on 29 April 2022 from Maybank after leading it for over eight years. In addition, he served as the chairman of The Association of Banks in Malaysia and ASEAN Bankers Association and the vice chairman of Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers. He has been appointed as the co-chairman/member of the Emerging Markets Advisory Council of The Institute of International Finance, Washington in the United States. He is also a member of Visa Asia Pacific Senior Client Council and the Board of Visitors of Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business.



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