Treasury Capital Markets Boss Quits

Oded Sarig adds his name to a list of top treasury officials that have left their posts in recent weeks.

Oded Sarig, the treasury’s commissioner of capital markets, insurance and savings, informed Finance Minister Yair Lapid Tuesday he was stepping down, adding his name to a list of top treasury officials that have left their posts in recent weeks.

Sarig waited to make his announcement until the launch of the new pension-fund clearinghouse system on Friday, a project he regarded as the chief accomplishment of his term. Sarig is expected to leave his post at the end of August, but he told Lapid he is willing to stay on until a replacement is found.

Sarig’s resignation follows that of Gal Hershkovitz, head of the treasury’s budget division, six weeks ago. Two of his deputies are leaving as well. In addition, Lee Dagan, who headed the general insurance division, resigned on Monday.

Treasury officials told Haaretz in May that top officials were likely to leave due to a sense of uneasiness at the top about Lapid. Sarig has opposed a number of policy decisions by his new boss. He recently spoke out against the treasury budget division’s decision to reduce the cap on tax benefits for contributions to retirement funds from NIS 35,000 a month to NIS 15,000. Sarig expressed concern that it would discourage people from paying into their pension accounts.

Sarig also opposed an item in the Economic Arrangements Bill − supplementary legislation to the state budget − prohibiting private insurance companies from issuing policies that compensate policyholders for not filing claims. The change, if enacted, would have forced insurers to stop the practice of selling customers full medical coverage but then convincing them, before they file a claim, to use their health maintenance organization coverage.

Sarig said he would resign if the clause remained in place, arguing that it would increase premiums on private and HMO complementary policies. Ultimately, the clause was dropped from the bill.

Among the names mentioned as possible replacements for Sarig are Rami Dayan, formerly deputy CEO of Clal Insurance; and Anat Levin, former chief investment officer at Migdal Insurance now a deputy CEO at Bank Hapoalim.
 

Ofer Vaknin