At the conclusion of a stormy process, the shareholders of Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) today elected Stanley Fischer and Israel Trau as "regular" directors of the bank, and Ronit Abramson-Rokach and Dalia Lev to continue as external directors. The shareholders were required to choose four out of six candidates recommended by the committee for the selection of directors in banks without a controlling core. Now that Fischer has, as expected, been elected a director of the bank, he may be tapped in the future for the role of chairman, a post currently held by Reuven Krupik.
In a statement released this evening, Fischer said, "I am pleased to join the Bank Hapoalim's board of directors. I intend to study the bank and its activities in depth, as well as the competitive and regulatory environment , so that I can contribute from my experience to the bank and its growth.
"The Israeli banking system faces many challenges, not the least of them resulting from the coronavirus crisis. I believe that Bank Hapoalim's management and staff will be able to meet these challenges as we move ahead in strengthening the bank for the future."
Fischer was governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005 to 2013. During his tenure, he demanded, and ultimately obtained, the ousting of then Bank Hapoalim chairman Dan Dankner, against the wishes of Shari Arison, who was the controlling shareholder in the bank at the time and who appointed Dankner to the post. Dankner subsequently served a prison sentence after being convicted on various charges in connection with his chairmanship of Hapoalim. Fischer is also a former chief economist of the World Bank and First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and he was vice chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board of Governors. From 2002 to 2005 he was an executive at Citigroup.
The election of Fischer as a director could mean a change in the balance of forces on Bank Hapoalim's board and perhaps a change in its attitude to the bank's management.
The shareholders also approved Bank Hapoalim's last annual report and the reappointment of KPMG Somekh-Chaikin and BDO Ziv Haft as joint auditors until the bank's next annual general meeting.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 22, 2020
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