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Zeti Akhtar Aziz: Clarity of purpose

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

Ask anyone who has worked with Zeti Akhtar Aziz about her and they will refer to her stability and calmness in the most difficult of circumstances. The secret, she says, is: “Having great clarity of the central purpose of what is to be achieved.” 

She has had this sense of clarity tested more than most in a long career book-ended by crises. 

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The record books show that she was governor of Bank Negara Malaysia from 2000 to 2016, but she actually made her name when she was made acting governor on 24 hours’ notice in the absolute heart of the Asian financial crisis in August 1998, after both the governor and deputy governor resigned over capital controls planned by the government.