INTERVIEW With "CFO Asia" - a publication of The Economist Group
CFO Asia editor Jennifer Lee asked ART's Managing Director to comment on recent changes in Malaysia
Atlantic Research Technologies,
L.L.C. (ART), www.atlanticresearch.com,
is a global executive search firm, recruiting in the
industrial, high tech and service sectors, for senior- and middle-management
positions in general management, sales and marketing, finance, supply chain,
manufacturing, IT, and human resources.
CFO Asia: How will Bank Negara's newly announced involvement in helping Malaysia's banks to check out their CFO candidates affect the ability of these banks to recruit for the posts of CFO?
ART: "The Central Bank already had the power to approve CEO's and board members, so perhaps we should not be shocked that the oversight loop is now closed with the vetting of CFO's. One problem, however is that there's a theory that whenever government wants to tell you who manages your company, it's time to leave that country. There's a possibility that Bank Negara's honorable stated desire to enhance transparency and corporate governance, might inadvertently drive out investors, as well as the most promising Malaysian banking executives, just when Malaysia needs them. There are already many places in Asia to invest, and this new regulation runs the risk of causing the best and the brightest to go to more open markets. Developing countries such as Malaysia have been trying to improve corporate governance and transparency in order to make their countries better for their national industries and more attractive for foreign investment. One hopes that in this case, the regulators will be playing the role of honest umpire in the process of evaluating CFO's, so that management can pick their own team, while the country can expect that their banks will be properly and honestly managed. In that scenario, if managers are to be chosen according to their competence and honesty, then everyone should be better off."