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Israel banks Hapoalim and Discount name new CEOs
Hapoalim appoints Dov Kotler as CEO, Discount Bank appointed Uri Levin.

JERUSALEM - Two of Israel’s largest banks, Bank Hapoalim and Israel Discount Bank , named new chief executives on Monday after a wave of resignations in the country’s finance industry that followed legislation capping salaries.

In 2016, Israel passed a law capping bank executive compensation at 2.5 million shekels, or around $700,000, a year. Before this came into effect, remuneration for senior banks had risen to as much as 8 million shekels a year.

Hapoalim, Israel’s largest lender by assets, said its board chose Dov Kotler as CEO. He had served as CEO of Hapoalim’s former credit card business Isracard between 2009 and 2015 but most recently he has been chairman of real estate investment firm iintoo.

Earlier on Monday, Discount Bank, Israel’s fourth largest bank, named Uri Levin, the head of its New York division, as CEO.

“We see the appointment of Uri Levin as good news from Discount,” said Barclays analyst Tavy Rosner. “He is esteemed by both the investment community and by employees.”

In April, Hapoalim said CEO Arik Pinto would step down when his term is up at the end of the year after 40 years at the bank, including the last four when he served as CEO.

Last month, Lilach Asher-Topilsky announced she would be stepping down as Discount Bank’s CEO after more than five years in the position to become a partner at the FIMI Fund.

Also in June, Leumi, Israel’s biggest bank by market capitalisation, said CEO Rakefet Russak-Aminoach would step down in the coming months after seven years in the post.

Both Kotler and Levin’s appointments require approvals by Israel’s banking regulator and their start dates have yet to be decided, the banks said in regulatory statements.

Hapoalim’s shares fell 0.3 percent in Tel Aviv, although trading closed prior to the new CEO announcement. Discount’s shares rose 1.8 percent. ($1 = 3.5468 shekels)

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