Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Amir Yaron today announced his decision to appoint Yair Avidan as Supervisor of Banks. Avidan will began his position on April 16, 2020, with the end of the tenure of the outgoing Supervisor.


Mr. Yair Avidan has served in a wide range of positions in the banking system over the course of more than 30 years. In addition, Avidan has a wealth of experience in the payments system and the overall financial system as well. He began his career as an economist and business banker at Bank Leumi. He subsequently worked as a credit officer at Bank Leumi New York, and as a senior transactions manager at Poalim Capital Markets. He later filled a wide range of positions at the Discount Group. He served as the personal assistant to the bank’s Chairman of the Board, as Head of the Overseas Branches Division, and as Deputy Head of the Business Department. For 6 years, he served as the bank’s Deputy CEO and Chief Risk Officer, in the framework of which he built and delineated the risk management approach at the Discount Group. He later served as Senior Deputy CEO and Head of the Subsidiaries Division. As part of that, he served as Chairman of Mercantile Discount Bank and as a director at the Discount Group, Cal (Cartisei Ashrai L’Yisrael—Israel Credit Cards), and IDBNY. In March 2019, he stepped down from his management roles and began to serve as director in several positions in the Discount Group, at the Midroog company, and at Shva.


Avidan earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Statistics (cum laude), an MBA, and a Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership in Education (cum laude), all from Tel Aviv University. In addition, Avidan is a graduate of an advanced management course at Harvard Business School.


Avidan also takes part in many community volunteer activities. Among others, he is a member of the executive board of Lotan’s Way, the Hadassah Neurim Youth Village, and the “Shiur Acher” organization. He is a member of the board of trustees of Laniado Hospital, a mentor in the “Mentor for Life” organization, and a math tutor for the “Push” organization. Yair Avidan, who lives in Hod Hasharon, is married with 3 children.


Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Amir Yaron said, “I commend Yair Avidan on his appointment to the important and challenging position of Supervisor of Banks. Avidan is taking on the position at a period in which advanced technology is changing many rules of the game in the financial system. The public good requires professional and close supervision of the banking system, from the perspective of protecting the public’s savings and deposits and ensuring the stability of the banking system, as well as from the perspective of enhancing competition and promoting innovation in the banking system in particular, and the payment and settlement system in general. I am confident that Yair’s rich and varied experience, in Israel and abroad, will contribute markedly to the Banking Supervision Department’s advance to the banking of tomorrow. I thank the outgoing Supervisor of Banks, Dr. Hedva Ber, for her great contribution to the Bank of Israel and to the entire banking system over the years of her service. I also thank the members of the Search Committee for their comprehensive and accelerated work, and all the candidates who took part in the process and expressed interest in this important position.


Yair Avidan, the designated Supervisor said, “I would like to thank the Governor for the trust he has placed in me in choosing me as Supervisor of Banks. I am very excited for the great privilege provided to me to fill this public position and I intend to contribute, to the best of my abilities and experience, to the development and stability of the banking system, to the welfare and trust of the consumers, and to the competition in it. This is at a particularly challenging period when the system must prepare, adjust, lead, and enable technological changes, to deal with the challenges of the business environment and the changing of business models in conjunction with changes in priorities, methods, and characteristics of consumption.”


The Search Committee established by the Governor received 21 candidate applications, of which 8 candidates were interviewed. After a narrowing-down process, the Committee recommended the most suitable candidates to the Governor, and after the Governor examined the candidacies, he decided to appoint Yair Avidan to the position, subject to his signing an agreement to prevent potential conflict of interest, as required.

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Credit: Rami Zaringer