KUALA LUMPUR: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) group chairman Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who assumed her role on July 1, is looking at “organisational transformation” to lift the asset manager’s capability and improve its performance.
In her first press conference since her appointment, Zeti said PNB is a very professional organisation with a very focused mandate but there is great potential to lift it to a higher level of organisational capability to perform better.
“At the central bank, during my term in office as governor, we did organisational transformation three times. We were very ambitious to be at the frontier of central banking and, so, I would like to be equally ambitious here to achieve this higher level of performance through greater organisational capability,” she told reporters today after launching two new funds under Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd that will be available to all types of investors.
Zeti said this will involve leveraging on greater use of technology within the organisation as well as on the business itself including its operations and distribution. Other areas that it will work on are diversification, risk management and liquidity management.
“PNB has been quite conservative holding a very high proportion of cash. It is good to be conservative, but it’s also good, now having the instruments and mechanisms, to better manage the liquidity in the organisation that can contribute to generating greater value to the investments,” she added.
On its Strive 15 strategic plan for 2017-2022, Zeti said it is time to do a review as the domestic and international environment is rapidly changing, which presents new challenges, and decide on the changes that include increasing capability in risk management and building buffers in order to be resilient.
“These are the factors that we will take into account when we undertake this review. My own style is, I’m very open to listening to the high powered people we have, the highly experienced with institutional memory and the people outside in the community we live in and in the international community.
“Listen to everyone and have significant dialogues and engagement …after that, consolidate all these and make decisions. That’s the approach that we will take,” she said.
On diversification, Zeti said it is important across asset classes and internationally, but it will be done gradually.
She said PNB will build up its internal expertise before venturing forward, and noted that there are great opportunities in the emerging financial markets.
Meanwhile, PNB will also be going through a period of consolidation after the rationalisation exercise carried out under Zeti’s predecessor, Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar.
“Some of the consolidation and rationalisation or demergers are to give greater focus to the entities involved. They have greater clarity on what they are to deliver. But it will take time to deliver results. We want to manage it well so that it can unlock the value that it has and generate higher performance. Of course we don’t exclude any market-driven merger or demerger exercise but not precipitated by PNB,” she said.
She said any merger or demerger carried out by PNB’s strategic and core companies would be driven by the market process.
On government-linked investment companies reducing their shareholdings in public-listed companies, Zeti said PNB supports the idea, which is intended to give greater liquidity and facilitate trading but noted that action cannot be taken abruptly in order to avoid disrupting the financial market.
Source: The Sun Daily