Datuk Seri Nazir Razak has announced that he will be stepping down as chairman of CIMB Group, effective 31 December 2018.

Nazir leaves after 29 years with CIMB, including 15 years as Group CEO and 4 years as Group Chairman. “It was always going to be hard to find the perfect moment for me to leave CIMB – not too soon, not too late – but always with the firm’s best interest in mind,” Nazir said in a statement released yesterday evening.

In addition to the chairmanship of CIMB Group, Nazir will also vacate all his other positions within the banking group. The board of directors will now activate its succession plan to decide on the next chairman and finalise details of the handover.

Nazir’s career highlights with CIMB include its IPO, the mergers with Bumiputra-Commerce and Southern Bank, and the launching of CIMB’s ASEAN subsidiaries. His leadership was instrumental in transforming CIMB from a medium-sized lender into one of ASEAN’s leading universal banks.

Among Nazir’s remaining tasks is the completion of T18, CIMB’s four-year recalibration and modernisation plan launched in 2014. He will also finalise the group’s new strategic blueprint and play a role in choosing his successor. According to its latest annual report, Nazir owns some 43.6 million shares or a 0.47% stake in CIMB, translating to a value of about RM263 million based on the last traded share price of RM6.03.