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Damith Pallewatte: The New Era of Hatton National Bank as Acting CEO

HNB Ushers in New Era with Damith Pallewatte at the Helm as Acting CEO

In a strategic move poised to shape the future of banking in Sri Lanka, Hatton National Bank (HNB) has taken a bold step by announcing Damith Pallewatte as its Acting CEO, a role he will assume from April 6, 2024, pending the confirmation of his credentials by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. This announcement marks a pivotal moment in HNB’s ambitious journey, initially set in motion in May 2023, as part of a planned succession blueprint designed to steer the bank towards new horizons.

Pallewatte, a seasoned professional in Banking and Risk Management, comes to the fore with an impressive dossier that spans over 27 years, with more than 14 of those years dedicated to senior and corporate management roles. His journey through the banking sector has been comprehensive, covering a broad swath of responsibilities from Strategy and Risk Management to Credit, Branch Banking, and Operations. His immediate role before ascending to the position of Acting CEO was as the Deputy General Manager of HNB’s Wholesale Banking Group.

Under his leadership, HNB aims to capitalize on its decade-long transformation, setting the stage for the bank to emerge as a pivotal player in driving the national economy forward. “Our aim is to build upon our legacy of strength, stability, and innovation, making strides with best-in-class customer service, the adoption of emerging technologies, and leveraging our unmatched network capabilities. We are poised to assist Sri Lankan enterprises of all scales in tapping into global opportunities, while also focusing on critical sectors and new markets to foster economic rejuvenation,” Pallewatte conveyed.

Pallewatte’s expertise is not confined to the banking sector alone. He has held significant leadership roles and directorships, contributing to his wide-ranging experience within and outside Sri Lanka. Notably, his positions as Chairman/Director of Lanka Ventures PLC and LVL Energy Fund PLC, both of which are listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange, have established him as a figurehead in venture capital and renewable energy investment realms across Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

Complementing his illustrious career, Pallewatte’s affiliations further extend to directorships at Acuity Partners (Pvt) Ltd, Acuity Securities Limited, and Lanka Financial Services Bureau Limited. His contribution to the business community also includes his role as Vice President/Director of the International Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka, amplifying his impact on the international stage.

Pallewatte’s academic accomplishments include a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Postgraduate Institute of Management at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and a Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of London (London School of Economics). His dedication to professional development is evidenced by numerous certifications, including a Certified Financial Risk Manager (FRM) by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP), an ACI Operations Certificate holder by the Financial Markets Association – France, and a Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK. Not to mention, his Sustainability and Climate Risk Certificate (SCR) from GARP highlights his commitment to furthering financial, social, and environmental sustainability practices.

With Damith Pallewatte at the helm, HNB is set to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the modern banking landscape, fostering growth and innovation while contributing to the broader economic resurgence of Sri Lanka.

Lily Greenfield

Lily Greenfield is a passionate environmental advocate with a Master's in Environmental Science, focusing on the interplay between climate change and biodiversity. With a career that has spanned academia, non-profit environmental organizations, and public education, Lily is dedicated to demystifying the complexities of environmental science for a general audience. Her work aims to inspire action and awareness, highlighting the urgency of conservation efforts and sustainable practices. Lily's articles bridge the gap between scientific research and everyday relevance, offering actionable insights for readers keen to contribute to the planet's health.

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