Anat Levin Named as Next Migdal Insurance CEO

Appointment bolsters already strong representation of women at summit of Israeli banking and finance.

Anat Levin will take the helm as CEO of Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings after accepting an offer by controlling stakeholder Shlomo Eliyahu’s. Levin will be stepping down as deputy CEO and head of financial markets at Bank Hapoalim.

The decision, over which Levin deliberated for day, will take her back to the company where she had worked for eight years as chief investment manager and credit manager.

Her appointment to lead Migdal, one of Israel’s two largest insurance companies, also cements the position of women at the summit of Israeli banking and finance. In October, Israel Discount Bank tapped Lilach Asher-Topilsky, former head of Hapoalim’s retail division, as its CEO, joining Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, who heads Bank Leumi, and Smadar Barber-Tsadik, who is CEO of First International Bank of Israel. On the government side, Kranit Flug took over as Bank of Israel governor last month and Dorit Salinger has been running the Finance Ministry’s capital markets, insurance and savings division since September.

Eliyahu offered the job to Levin, 50, on Tuesday, several weeks after Yonel Cohen announced he would be stepping down as CEO. At the time, sources said Cohen’s likely replacement at the top spot would be Eliyahu’s son, Ofer. “Shlomo Eliyahu does not want Migdal to develop a reputation of being a family fief, which is why he offered [the job] to Levin, whom he values highly in the role,” said a source close to both sides. Levin is a personal friend of Eliyahu, who bought control of Migdal last year from the Italian insurer Generali, and of the son Eliyahu as well.

“There’s no doubt that it is a fitting appointment, as Bank Hapoalim continues to promote and export good and talented executives to key roles in the Israeli economy,” said Bank Hapoalim CEO Zion Kenan on Wednesday, congratulating Levin on her new job. Kenan had recruited Levin 2010 to leave Migdal and rebuild the bank’s financial markets division. On Wednesday, Hapolaim announced Dan Koller, 43, who now head its international markets division, would take Levin’s place.

Dan Keinan