Former Novolog (Pharm-Up 1966) Ltd. (TASE: NVLG) chairperson and CEO Shaul Kobrinsky will be appointed as the next chairperson of Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT). The bank's board of directors convened today and elected Kobrinsky to replace Dr. Joseph Bachar, who will complete nine years in his position by the end of the year. Kobrinsky competed for the job against Discount Bank directors CPA Reuven Adler and Dr. Yaakov Lifshitz.
Most of Kobrinsky's experience is in industry. Among other things, he was CEO of Urdan Industries and one of the owners of the Pharm-Up group. Until last year, he was chairperson and CEO of medical logistics company Novolog, which held its IPO a year ago. Kobrinsky also held various positions in the Manufacturers Association of Israel, and was a member of the Antitrust Tribunal.
Kobrinsky has been a director at Discount Bank for the past four years. On the one hand, he has become familiar with the bank; on the other hand, he is not one of the most veteran directors, and is eligible to serve as a director for five more years (the maximum term for a director in a bank without a controlling core is nine years).
Kobrinsky's candidacy for the post of chairperson was reported by "Globes" last March. He began his campaign back then, talking with directors and asking them for their support, which he received today. During the campaign for the position, the Bank of Israel committee for appointment of directors tried to impose its own candidate for chairperson, proposing former Ministry of Finance director general Yoram Ariav for the job and contacting him on its own initiative. Ariav, however, did not past the first hurdle: the bank's shareholders' meeting did not elect him as a director, leaving only internal candidates from the board of directors.
The timing of Kobrinksy's becoming chairperson is good. The bank, which was sluggish for years, with a particularly poor efficiency ratio and a declining market share, has been revolutionized in recent years. Today, it is a growing bank with greatly improved profit margins. It has become a hungry bank that is now trying to acquire Dexia Bank in order to expand into the local government sector.
The revolution at Discount Bank was led by CEO Lilach Asher-Topilsky, appointed by Bachar, with whom she had good relations and who backed her in her activity at the bank. The question is whether these good relations and support will continue with the new chairperson. The fact that Kobrinsky is already part of Discount Bank's board of directors, which has given Asher-Topilsky its backing in recent years, likely hints that the backing that she has enjoyed will continue.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 8, 2018
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