Agus Martowardojo: A man for all seasons
As part of Euromoney's 50th anniversary coverage, we profile some of the biggest names that we interviewed for our May Asia focus.
Nobody else in Indonesia’s history has been finance minister, central bank governor and a big bank chief executive. So, Agus Martowardojo, which was hardest?
Agus smiles. “If you ask me to compare, I think the ministry of finance was more challenging. To manage the state budget, you have to deal with the members of parliament, all the ministers and all of them would like to ask for additional budget. People have their own ideas and that is quite… interesting.”
Frustrating? “I think my response is: ‘a productive challenge’.”
Agus’s diplomacy and even temper has made him an ideal candidate for tough jobs. In 1998, as the Asian financial crisis was at its worst, he was asked to be chief executive of Bank Ekspor Impor Indonesia, one of four banks that would be merged into Mandiri, which he would then go on to run.