Azlan to Step Down as Head of Malaysia’s Biggest Pension Fund

Azlan Zainol said he’s quitting as chief executive officer of Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund to make way for younger blood, after helming the world’s sixth- largest state pension fund for the past 12 years.

Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, currently deputy CEO and head of investment, will take the top job from April 16, said Azlan in a phone interview today. The 63-year-old said he will retain his roles as chairman of Malaysian Resources Corp. and director of financial services group RHB Capital Bhd. (RHBC)

“It’s right to leave when things are good,” said Azlan. “I’m not exactly retiring. I just want to change my lifestyle a bit, take things easy. I want younger people to take over.”

The Kuala Lumpur-based pension fund, known as EPF, declared a record 27.5 billion ringgit ($8.8 billion) payout to members for 2012, according to its website. That was equivalent to a 6.15 percent dividend, its highest rate in at least a decade. Its portfolio of assets grew to 526.8 billion ringgit as of the end of December, mostly held through stable and low-risk fixed income securities, EPF said.

EPF was ranked sixth in asset size in a global survey by Towers Watson & Co. released in August. Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund was the largest.

The management change was first reported by the Malaysian Reserve today, citing an internal announcement. A public statement will be made later, Shahril said in a mobile text message to Bloomberg News.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chong Pooi Koon in Kuala Lumpur at pchong17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Barry Porter in Kuala Lumpur at bporter10@bloomberg.net; Andreea Papuc in Hong Kong at apapuc1@bloomberg.net

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