Bank Leumi names David Brodet chairman

Brodet is replacing Eitan Raff, who resigned after 15 years in office.

brodet 311 (photo credit: courtesy)
brodet 311
(photo credit: courtesy)
Bank Leumi on Thursday named David Brodet as its chairman for a three-year tenure, replacing Eitan Raff, who resigned after 15 years in office.
Other candidates under consideration included former Israel Phoenix Assurance chairman Ehud Shapira and Moshe Dovrat, a Bank Leumi director. The appointment must be approved by the Bank of Israel and the Finance Ministry.

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Brodet, 66, had a long career in the civil service before moving into the private sector, where he held key positions, including chairman of Bank Mizrahi Tefahot, Yes Satellite Television and Blue Square. He was budget director and director- general at the Finance Ministry in the 1990s and was deputy director-general at the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry in the 1980s.
Shlomo Eliahu, Bank Leumi’s largest individual shareholder with a 9.6 percent stake, earlier this year proposed that former Bank of Israel governor David Klein become chairman. But Klein was less likely to be chosen because of his close ties with Eliahu.
In recent months, Eliahu has been trying to put together a group of investors to form a controlling stake in Leumi as the government is planning to sell its stake in the bank.
The Finance Ministry is in the process of selling the government’s 11.46% stake in Bank Leumi. It will be sold by the accountant-general through block trades using financial institutions, which will offer the shares to investors in Israel and abroad.
It is valued at about NIS 2.5 billion, out of which 10.5% will be allocated for sale to the public and the remainder to the bank’s employees. The government plans to sell its shares in blocks to institutions until the end of the year.
The Treasury wants to sell its stake without creating a controlling core in the bank.
Finance Minister Steinitz this week published a draft amendment to the Marani Law in the Banking Ordinance to enable the government to sell its Leumi shares without creating a controlling core. The amendment includes provisions so that shareholders can appoint board members at banks on their behalf, while not allowing actual control by any single shareholder.
Leumi is the last of the country’s lenders to remain under government control, after the government took over the major banks two decades ago.
The government has been seeking potential buyers, mostly among foreign lenders, since 2007. After several attempts to find a buyer or investor for a controlling core failed, the government decided to complete the privatization of Bank Leumi through block trades.