Top economist and senior banker Dr. Kenneth De Zilwa assumed duties as the fifth Chairman of LankaClear after being appointed by Central Bank Governor Prof. W.D. Lakshman for a term of three years effective from 1 June 2020. He succeeded another veteran banker, Anil Amarasuriya, who completed an illustrious six years as Chairman.
Dr. De Zilwa’s appointment to LankaClear comes in at a crucial juncture in the country, where LankaClear’s role has become even more critical with Sri Lanka’s digital journey, gaining vigor with multiple macroeconomic developments and emerging opportunities that are set to create an unprecedented demand for digital payments in the country. Having worked at Citibank N.A. and HSBC, Dr. De Zilwa counts for over 20 years of experience in banking and managing business at the senior managerial level across all verticals, and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and exposure that would undoubtedly add value to LankaClear, thus contributing immensely to the growth and stability of the financial sector.
He is well known for his expertise in the Treasury, especially in the areas of risk management, money markets, and debt markets, in both domestic and international financial markets alike. At HSBC, Dr. De Zilwa played a significant role in handling the derivative markets with his exceptional knowledge and exposure to capital markets and domestic debt products. During his stint at HSBC, Dr. De Zilwa was a part of the global advisory team for Government of Sri Lanka USD Bond Issuance and worked closely with the senior officials of the Central Bank in drafting guidelines for the market. At Citibank, as a senior manager, Dr. De Zilwa headed fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) and was responsible for guiding and developing policy decisions of the bank. During his tenure, he was entrusted with the bank’s liquidity, business plans, profitability, product development, currency, and interest rate risk positions in addition to ensuring balance sheet growth.
A veteran in business cycles and real economy, Dr. De Zilwa holds a PhD and master’s degree in economics from the University of Colombo and a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Economics from the same university. He also holds a MA in Economics for Development from the ISS Erasmus University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands and a Postgraduate Diploma in Bank Management and Finance from the Institute of Bankers Sri Lanka. He has contributed to many papers in reputed journals, including the anniversary edition of the Association of Professional Bankers.