First International Bank of Israel Chairman Tapped for Top Treasury Role

Roni Hizkiyahu will take over from Michal Abadi-Boiangiu as accountant general.

First international Bank of Israel chairman Roni Hizkiyahu.
Moti Milrod

Roni Hizkiyahu, a banker who spent six years as supervisor of banks at the Bank of Israel, is returning to government service after he accepted an offer by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to become treasury accountant general, the treasury said Sunday.

Hizkiyahu, 65, who has been chairman of First international Bank of Israel for the past four years, was offered the accountant general’s job last week by Kahlon and over the weekend he accepted it. His appointment must still be approved by the cabinet and the civil service appointments committee.

Hizkiyahu will be replacing Michal Abadi-Boiangiu, who has been at the post for five-and-a-half years after agreeing to stay on at the behest of Yair Lapid, the previous finance minister,, after her original four-year term expired. She will be stepping down at the end of January after a two-week running-in period with Hizkiyahu.

As accountant general, Hizkiyahu will be responsible for administering the budget after the Knesset has approved it and he has a role in determining the defense budget, as well as the hot-button issue of pay and pensions for army officers. In years when the Knesset hasn’t approved the budget in time for the new year, the accountant general has great authority over spending. The office is also responsible for managing government debt.

Kahlon and Hizkiyahu grew up together in the Hadera neighborhood of Givat Olga and have known each other since then. Hizkiyahu went on to a degree on industrial engineering and management at Ben-Gurion University and then 26 years first at Bank Hapoalim and later at Israel Discount Bank before being named banks supervisor in 2006.

Normally, the accountant general is required to have a degree in economics or business. But the treasury said Civil Service Commissioner Moshe Dayan agreed to waive the requirement in light of Hizkiyahu’s banking experience.