BOV appoints new Chief Executive Officer

With Rick Hunkin on way out, BOV appoints new CEO

Kenneth Farrugia
Kenneth Farrugia

Bank of Valletta has announced the appointment of Kenneth Farrugia is replacing outgoing CEO Rick Hunkin.

This followed an extensive process locally and abroad to identify the executive with the best possible fit to the requirements of the role at this stage.

As CEO, Farrugia - whose appointment will become effective upon receipt of regulatory approval - will also sit on the Bank’s Board of Directors as an Executive Director.

Farrugia has vast experience in the banking and financial sectors. He joined Bank of Valletta in October 1985, and over the past 37 years has occupied various senior positions across the banking group. He currently holds the post of Chief Retail Banking Officer.

Farrugia, a Harvard Business School Alumni, is responsible for the Bank’s personal and micro-business customer segments, and the corresponding suite of retail banking products as well as the respective service channels.

Dr Gordon Cordina, BOV Chairman said the Board had expressed its confidence in Farrugia in selecting him to this demanding role.

“It is ready to support him to fulfil his mandate, for Bank of Valletta to meet and exceed the expectations of its shareholders, customers, employees and other stakeholders,” he said.

“The Board is also expressing its gratitude to Mr Hunkin for his service over the past three years, especially for the governance and transformation improvements achieved in extraordinarily difficult circumstances. It wishes all the best to him and his family.”

Hunkin said he was delighted for Farrugia and wished him the very best as he takes BOV forward.

“I will ensure my full support as we go through a handover period,” he said.

Commenting on this appointment, Farrugia said he felt privileged and excited to have been entrusted with this post and was very much looking forward to work alongside the board of directors, and the executive management team to sustain the implementation of various initiatives underpinning the Bank’s regulatory, commercial, and operational priorities.

“I am confident that together with our highly valued human resources, we will also be able to launch new growth driven initiatives across the Bank’s personal and business customer segments aiming to deliver on the expectations of all our stakeholders,” he said.

Back in January, Cordina said that the decision not to renew Rick Hunkin’s contract as CEO was taken by mutual agreement.

“Rick Hunkin and myself meet regularly and we arrived at the conclusion that it is in the best interest of the bank and the CEO to initiate an early succession process,” he said.

Cordina was coy about the reasons behind the decision to replace Hunkin but hinted that there may have been internal tension over his management style.

“These stresses exist everywhere in any organisation… I wasn’t here when Hunkin was appointed but it may be the bank needed a certain type of management style when the transformation process started to get things going fast but going forward we may need a different management style,” Cordina said when asked whether the decision was the result of clashes with the board and management.

But Cordina ruled out mismanagement and wrongdoing as the basis for the Hunkin’s eventual replacement.

“The board has no such evidence otherwise we would be taking a different course of action,” he said. “We want to ensure we have the best talent to address the challenges going forward.”

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