Bank of Valletta (BOV) chairman Gordon Cordina has confirmed that the process of finding a new CEO “is still ongoing”, indicating that a suitable candidate has yet to be identified to step into the incumbent’s shoes.
Speaking to BusinessNow.mt, Dr Cordina however declined to comment further, saying the the process constituted “market-sensitive information which needs to follow the public disclosure process specified by law”.
Rick Hunkin, BOV’s first foreign CEO, was engaged on a three-year contract in November 2019, with his stint at the helm of Malta’s largest bank due to come to an end this coming November.
Back in January, it was reported that the search for a replacement had already begun. At the time, Dr Cordina had insisted that the early start was “normal for any company of a similar size and structure”, and not related to any dissatisfaction with Mr Hunkin’s performance.
The CEO was then-under fire for lucrative consultancy contracts handed out by BOV, sometimes to people he had connections with, although Dr Cordina dismissed the idea that this had anything to do with the bank’s efforts for a “timely and orderly succession”.
He pointed to the constraints presented by an overheated labour market, the stringent requirements put forward by regulators, and the time required for regulatory approval of any nomination, which can take between three and four months.
Whether such regulatory approval will be obtained in time for any eventual candidate remains to be seen, although with just over two months left until the end of November, this seems increasingly unlikely.
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