Dankner to Leave Hapoalim in Three Months

On Tuesday, Bank Hapoalim is scheduled issue its first-quarter 2009 report. Before that happens, or so observers believe, board chairman Danny Dankner is expected to tender his resignation and thus put an end to the war that has been raging between the Bank of Israel and Bank Hapoalim, or more specifically, between the central bank and Hapoalim's controlling shareholder, Shari Arison.

According to the agreement shaping up between BoI and Hapoalim, the resignation will be effective in three months. That means Dankner will be able to influence the selection of the bank's next CEO.

Last week Hapoalim acceded to the Bank of Israel's requests and established an executive search committee that will work with the central bank.

The committee will recommend a successor for Zvi Ziv, the CEO who quit the day before Hapoalim filed a less-than-stellar report for 2008.

It was the board's cursory discussion of Ziv's resignation, and the hasty choice - that same day - of Zion Keinan to replace him, that triggered the Bank of Israel's call for Dankner's resignation.

The leading candidates to replace Dankner as chairman are Joseph Bachar, a former director general of the Finance Ministry; former antitrust commissioner Yoram Turbowicz; and former ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman.