PIDM chairman Abdul Samad appointed to 1MDB’s board of advisors

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 21): Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM) Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Samad Alias has been appointed to the board of advisors of the government’s investment arm, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

In a statement today, 1MDB’s chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said the investment arm is “honoured” to have Abdul Samad, whom it described as "one of the most respected figures in Malaysia’s financial community" to its board of advisors.

“His advice will be invaluable as the company moves forward with its strategic review, with the aim of ensuring that 1MDB is best positioned to maximise value from its investment portfolio and fulfil its broader economic objectives,” added Lodin.

According to 1MDB’s website, 1MDB has a three-tiered governance comprising a board of advisors, a board of directors and a senior leadership team.

The board of advisors is chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The special advisor to the investment arm is former Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Jassim Jabr Al-Thani.

Abdul Samad joins the ranks of others such as Petronas chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, Finance Ministry secretary general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and Khazanah Nasional Bhd deputy chairman Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

His foreign counterparts include Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority chairman Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton Group chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Bernard Arnault.

Abdul Samad has served as PIDM chairman since Aug 15, 2011.

A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, he has also served as Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd chairman and Messrs Ernst and Young non-executive chairman.

Abdul Samad has also served as president of the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Malaysian Institute of Accountants; he is currently a member of both.

Abdul Samad is the second latest appointment made to the beleaguered state wealth fund, after former Gulf-based banker Arul Kanda — who took over the helm as 1MDB president and group executive director on Jan 5.