The race to become CEO of Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) is seen entering its final stretch this week. According to banking system sources, the person who has emerged as the leading candidate is Dov Kotler. It is believed that Kotler's name could be put forward for discussion at a meeting of the bank's board of directors early this week, at the recommendation of the search committee headed by board chairman Oded Eran. The bank is looking for a replacement for outgoing CEO Arik Pinto.
The assessment on the market is that if Kotler is indeed selected for the post, at least one more senior manager will leave the bank.
Although Kotler has emerged as the leading candidate, the die is not yet cast. In the past few months several well-qualified and highly esteemed candidates have been mentioned, both internal and external.
If the search committee does recommend Kotler, he will come to Bank Hapoalim with long and deep experience in more than one area of banking and finance, and with top management experience.
In the past, in reverse chronological order, Kotler was until 2014 CEO of credit card company Isracard, then a Bank Hapoalim subsidiary, CEO of investment house Prisma, which was set up by the Markstone Fund as a great hope but which ended as no less great a failure, CEO of Union Bank of Israel (TASE: UNON), and CEO of Cal-ICC Israel Credit Cards. In the past few years he has been chairman of real estate investment firm iintoo.
The search committee at Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT), which is also looking for a new CEO, in place of Lilach Asher-Topilsky, is believed to be about to recommend Discount Bank of New York CEO Uri Levin. Levin was considered a leading candidate for the job at Bank Hapoalim, but he reportedly withdrew, which is thought to be a sign that his chances of receiving the Discount Bank appointment are high.
Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) also seeks a new CEO, in the wake of the departure of Rakefet Russak-Aminoach. The bank appointed a search committee last week, and it is due to recommend a candidate "as soon as possible".
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 14, 2019
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