Kenneth Farrugia has officially been named as Bank of Valletta’s (BOV) next Chief Executive Officer. He will be taking over from Rick Hunkin, whose contract expired in November of this year after two years at the helm of BOV.
BOV had first revealed that it was looking for a replacement for Mr Hunkin in January 2022, and that an extensive process has been utilised throughout this year to identify a successor to the role.
His departure from the bank was said to come amid the breaking down of his relationship with members of its senior management, and controversy over the expensive contracts awarded to foreign consultants.
And, while the bank’s senior management have stood by Mr Hunkin, the early announcement that the bank was starting a process for his replacement was said to have taken place to ensure a “timely and orderly succession,” in the words of Chairperson Gordon Cordina.
In his capacity as CEO, Kenneth Farrugia will also sit on the Bank’s Board of Directors as an Executive Director. The appointment of Mr Farrugia will become effective upon receipt of regulatory approval.
Mr Farrugia has vast experience in the banking and financial sectors. He joined Bank of Valletta in October 1985, and over the past 37 years has occupied various senior positions across the banking group. He currently holds the post of Chief Retail Banking Officer. Mr Farrugia, a Harvard Business School Alumni, is responsible for the Bank's personal and micro-business customer segments, and the corresponding suite of retail banking products as well as the respective service channels.
Dr Cordina, BOV Chairperson commented on the appointment, saying: “The Board expresses its confidence in Kenneth in selecting him to this demanding role. It is ready to support him to fulfil his mandate, for Bank of Valletta to meet and exceed the expectations of its shareholders, customers, employees and other stakeholders. The Board is also expressing its gratitude to Mr Hunkin for his service over the past three years, especially for the governance and transformation improvements achieved in extraordinarily difficult circumstances. It wishes all the best to him and his family.”
Outgoing CEO Mr Hunkin commented, “I am delighted for Kenneth and wish him all the very best as he takes BOV forward. I will ensure my full support as we go through a handover period.”
On his part Mr Farrugia stated, “I feel privileged and excited to have been entrusted with this post and very much looking forward to work alongside the board of directors, and the executive management team to sustain the implementation of various initiatives underpinning the Bank’s regulatory, commercial, and operational priorities taken forward by my predecessor Rick Hunkin. I am confident that together with our highly valued human resources, we will also be able to launch new growth driven initiatives across the Bank’s personal and business customer segments aiming to deliver on the expectations of all our stakeholders.”