Dorit Salinger, who led the S&P Maalot credit rating agency for 13 years, won cabinet approval yesterday as the next commissioner for capital markets, insurances and savings, replacing Oded Sarig.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid nominated Salinger for the post, which makes her the chief governmental authority over some one trillion shekels in pension savings, just over a week ago, a month-and-half after Sarig announced he was stepping down.
Among Sarig's last acts was a plan to have pension managers revise the way they calculate future payouts to reflect lower rates of interest, a move that would have cut pensions by 10%. Lapid later said a decision on the matter had yet to be made.
"Dorit Salinger's vast experience and her knowledge of capital market operations in particular will help her and the Finance Ministry to meet the many challenges in the financial and insurance markets now facing us," Lapid said.
She also becomes the third woman holding the top eight treasury jobs after Director General Yael Andorn and Accountant general Michal Abadi-Boiangiu.
Salinger has a bachelor's degree in management from the Haifa Technion and a master’s in business administration from Tel Aviv University. While at S&P Maalot, she led the agency's full merger into Standard & Poor's, which is one of the big three global rating agencies, along with Moody's and Fitch.
Since she left the helm of S&P Maalot in 2011, Salinger has served as a director for number of companies, among them the shopping mall operator Melisron, which in controlled by Liora Ofer.
Salinger led S&P Maalot during some of the stormiest years in the financial markets. Her rating company, like others in Israel and around the world, was accused of failing to lower its credit rating for corporate borrowers in a timely way, especially as the global financial crisis began to erupt in 2007.
That critique ended up blocking her appointment as a court-appointed monitor of IDB Holding Corporation, one of Nochi Dankner's indebted holding companies.
Although Salinger had left S&P Maalot before the full extent of IDB's problems emerged, she still came under criticism for failing to get tough enough on IDB during her tenure, at a time when the conglomerate was declaring big dividends and investing in risky undertakings. As a result, Judge Varda Alshech named Eyal Gabbai as monitor.