High Court petition: Galia Maor should not be on Leumi board

The Movement for Quality Government says retired CEO of bank is not qualified to be chosen for its board of directors.

February 10, 2010 06:54
1 minute read.
bank leumi logo 88

bank leumi logo 88. (photo credit: )

The Movement for Quality Government has petitioned the High Court of Justice to disqualify Galia Maor, who recently retired after 15 years as president and CEO of Bank Leumi, from seeking election to the bank’s board of directors.

The MQG said the law obliged Maor to observe a two-year “chilling out” period before putting herself up as a candidate for the position.

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Because Bank Leumi is one of the banks that were bailed out by the government in the 1983 stock market collapse, a special committee is authorized to nominate members of the board of directors. The committee picked Maor as one of the candidates.

However, in doing so, MQG said, the committee had broken the law, namely Article 240 (b) of the Companies Law, which says: “No one shall be appointed an outside director, if he, anyone close to him, his partner, his employer, anyone to whom he is directly or indirectly answerable, or a corporation that he controls at the time of his appointment or for two years previous has an affinity to the company.”

The law defines affinity as having business or professional ties to, or holding a position in, the company.

The petitioner also pointed out that Maor was also the chairperson of the board of directors of Bank Leumi (Switzerland), a subsidiary that is entirely owned by the parent company.

Last week, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said he strongly opposed Maor’s appointment and that he had given the head of the committee who nominated her three professional opinions that said she could not be appointed to the board.

In the petition, the MQG also demanded that Supervisor of Banks Rony Hizkiyahu publicly declare that Maor was not eligible for the post.

A general meeting of Bank Leumi shareholders is set to take place on March 11 to elect the new members of the board.

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