5 Questions with 27Advisory's Senior Advisor, Dato’ Mohamed Khadar Merican
Dato’ Khadar has more than 35 years’ experience in financial and general management. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is a Chartered Accountant of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants. He served as an auditor and a consultant in an international accounting firm, before joining a financial services group in 1986.
Dato’ Khadar has held various senior management positions at Pernas International Holdings Berhad (now known as Tradewinds Corporation Berhad) between 1988 and April 2003, including as President and Chief Operating Officer. From 2003, he managed his private financial consulting business while simultaneously sitting on several boards. In 2013, Dato’ Khadar, in his capacity as the Chairman of RHB Capital Berhad, was named as the “Chairman of The Year” by the Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group at its Malaysian-ASEAN Corporate Governance Index Awards 2013.
Dato’ Khadar is currently the Chairman of Bonia Corporation Bhd and SOGO (KL) Department Store Sdn Bhd. He is also a director at AirAsia Group Bhd, Thai AirAsia PCL and Iris Corporation Bhd. Other significant directorships previously held by Dato’ Khadar included at the RHB Banking Group and at the ASTRO Malaysia Holdings Group. Over the years, Dato’ Khadar has been a chairman or a member of Audit Committees, Nomination and Remuneration Committees, Risk Management Committees and Safety Review Board of the companies where he had served.
Best known for... I've been an independent director of various PLCs since 2003 and I would think that I have always been respected for my independence, integrity and contribution at board and committee meetings in respect of finance, strategy, governance and risk management.
Proudest achievement...Not sure, really. I structured, together with investment banks, the biggest MBO in 1996, but the timing was just bad. It was right at the beginning of the Asian Financial Crisis. It was the biggest MBO in Malaysia at that time. The AFC caused the MBO to fail. Can I still consider it my proudest achievement?
The last 5 years…have been rather quiet. I ceased my financial consulting practice which I had neglected since being the Chairman of RHB Capital. I also retired from the RHB Banking Group as well as the ASTRO Group of Companies as I had far exceeded my tenure as independent director. I was invited to the boards of Bonia Corporation Bhd and Iris Corporation Bhd at the end of 2018.
3 essential values...Integrity, Respect and Good attitude. You need integrity to be someone who is trustworthy, reliable and dependable. The world does not exist only for you. Respect is essential at all times. You earn respect, You cannot command it. Everyone has a role to play and they must be respected for what they do. If they do not do what they do, you cannot have a standard of life that you have. Everyone has something good in them. As leaders, it is our job to find the good in them. Good attitude is everything in life. With the right attitude, you can do almost anything you want. Observe the people with good or bad attitudes. The good attitude person is the guy who always sees the glass as half full. The bad attitude guy will see it as half empty. So, develop a good attitude in life.
Rebuild Humanity by…being effective and efficient at work. In Malaysia, people work extremely long hours over prolonged periods. They have no work/life balance. Income is only a means to an end. But if there is no time, what is the end you are working for? We should inculcate a work habit of 9 to 5. The rest of the time should belong to you and your family. Rebuild humanity by working smart.