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BANKING

Kartika Wirjoatmodjo: Focused on the business

As part of Euromoney's 50th anniversary coverage, we profile some of the biggest names that we interviewed for our May Asia focus..

A bank formed out of the furnace of the Asian financial crisis by wedging four insolvent banks together knows all about resilience and transformation. For Bank Mandiri’s chief executive, Kartika Wirjoatmodjo, known locally as Pak Tiko, one priority of recent years has been taking risk out of the books.

KARTIKA W_mandiri _160x186
Kartika Wirjoatmodjo,
Bank Mandiri

“One thing we learned in several cycles after 1998 and 2008 is about portfolio strategy,” he says.

“There have been times like 2010 to 2013 when we were growing at 20% to 25% with a return on equity of 21% or 22%, but we were focusing so much on business development, we were somewhat forgetting portfolio strategy and didn’t realize we were entering new segments that we had never experienced before,” such as small and medium-sized enterprises.