The United Mizrahi Bank controlling shareholder, the Wertheim-Ofer group, will decide on a new chairman of the board in the next few days, to replace Idan Ofer who will resign at the end of the month. They have compiled a shortlist of candidates that includes former Cellcom CEO Jacob Perry, former finance ministers Dan Meridor and Yaakov Neeman, former treasury director general Avi Ben Bassat, former Israel General Bank and insurance company Menorah CEO Avraham Bigger, and former Elite International CEO Amnon Dick. According to an agreement between the shareholders, it is the Ofer family's turn to appoint the new chair, although Mosie Wertheim can proffer his own candidate. Perry is Wertheim's candidate.
Serious differences of opinion have been evident in the past between the controlling shareholders surrounding the appointment of the chairman. A year ago, before Idan Ofer was appointed, at least a dozen candidacies were proposed and rejected, some vetoed by the Wertheims and some by the Ofers, while some candidates were ruled out due to fears they wouldn't be able to cooperate with bank CEO Victor Medina. Even now, it appears the ability to work with Medina will be a substantial component of the decision.
Idan Ofer was forced to resign the position due to the Bank of Israel's supervisor of banks' opposition to controlling shareholders serving in senior management positions in the bank. This policy applies to small and medium-sized banks with a small controlling core of shareholders whose impact on the bank's decisions can be great.
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