YM Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul bin Tengku Abdul Aziz (born June 25, 1973) is the Group Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director of CIMB Group Holdings Berhad
a leading ASEAN universal bank and a world leader in Islamic finance with presence in 15 countries worldwide. He is also the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director of CIMB Bank Berhad and Commissioner of PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk.
Outside of CIMB, Zafrul is currently a member of the Asia Pacific Business Advisory Council (ABAC), representing Malaysia in promoting intra-trade and collaboration within Asia Pacific. He is also on the Board of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA). Further, Zafrul, an advocate of Malaysia’s socioeconomic development, currently sits on the Board of the Kuala Lumpur Business Club. He is also an Honorary Commander of the Navy Volunteer Reserve under the Royal Malaysian Navy.
Zafrul has four children (daughters, Tengku Zahra Jasmina and Tengku Zahira Eusnie and sons, Tengku Zaeem Khalif and Tengku Zayn Aqeel), and is married to Raja Datin Sri Johanna Raja Arshad. His passions include keeping fit through running, cycling and swimming, and developing the youth through his participation in various organisations such as the Kalsom Movement and Teach for Malaysia.
Zafrul was born on 25 June 1973 and is the eldest of four siblings. His mother is Raja Datuk Zaharaton Raja Zainal Abidin, former Director-General of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Prime Minister’s Department of Malaysia, and his father, Tengku Abdul Aziz, is a businessman.
An alumnus of The Malay College Kuala Kangsar, Zafrul graduated from the University of Bristol, UK with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Economics and Accounting and obtained a Master of Arts (MA) in Finance and Management from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. He also holds a Fellow Chartered Banker with the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers.
Zafrul started out as a corporate finance executive in AmInvestment Bank in 1996. He then joined Crédit Agricole as an investment analyst, moving up to Director within a few years. Succeeding this, he became the Advisor to the President of Tenaga Nasional Berhad. Zafrul then joined CIMB Investment banking, after which he was appointed as Group Managing Director of Avenue Capital Resources (now ECM Libra), a listed company specialising in financial services i.e. investment banking and fund management. He was also Chief Executive Officer of Avenue Securities and the Chairman of Avenue Asset Management. Zafrul then went on to become the Head of Investment Banking for Citigroup Malaysia.
He is also the main investor behind Tune Money Sdn Bhd, Asia’s first “no-frills” online financial service provider as well as its CEO and substantial shareholder. Following that, Zafrul was appointed as Group Director of Kenanga Holdings Berhad and Director of Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad. Prior to assuming his most recent role with CIMB, Zafrul was the Chief Executive Officer of Maybank Investment Bank, the fully owned investment banking arm of Malayan Banking Berhad, Malaysia’s flagship financial services player. The acquisition of Kim Eng Holdings Limited (Kim Eng) by the Maybank Group in 2011 resulted in the combined entity of Maybank IB and Kim Eng, known regionally as Maybank Kim Eng, of which Zafrul was also CEO.
Zafrul was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer at CIMB Bank Berhad on January 20, 2016.
In 2017 Zafrul launched CIMB FinTech, a new stand-alone unit of CIMB focusing on innovative banking solutions.
In 2018, he noted a 10.7% increase in quarterly profits and predicted loan growth in Malaysia of up to 5%. He also announced the regulatory approvals of a joint venture between CIMB and China Galaxy Securities Co Ltd. The new company, Malaysia JVCo would be the holding company of Jupiter Securities Sdn Bhd.
Throughout his career, Zafrul was awarded with numerous prestigious awards including ASEAN CEO Award by Technology Business Review (2008), Most Promising Entrepreneurship Awards by Enterprise Asia (2008) and the Malaysian Business Leadership Award by The Leaders Magazine. Most recently, he was awarded the Masterclass CEO of the Year in the 7th Global Leadership Award organised by the American Leadership Development Association (2017) and the Best Chief Executive Officer for Investor Relations by the Malaysia Investor Relations Association (2017).
Zafrul was one of the judges of the corporate reality television series The Firm. The show premièred prime time nationwide on ntv7 and Astro’s Channel 7 in Malaysia in 2007. As one of the three millionaire judges on The Firm, the other two being Peter Pek and Chan Boon Yong, he is considered one of Malaysia’s few corporate celebrities. He has also appeared in advertisements for Tune Money.