It’s with shock and sadness we came to know about the untimely passing away of Nilanth De Silva, Chairman HNB on Wednesday.
Mr. De Silva needs no introduction among the banking fraternity, being a pioneer member of HNB, having joined the bank in 1974 as a Banking Assistant. During his colourful and remarkable career in banking of close to five decades he rose to the highest position of the bank to become the Chairman of HNB in July 2021 – the highest position any individual banker could aspire to.
Those of us who had the opportunity of working with him and members of the “Hatna Family” were happy to hear of his elevation. It is no exaggeration to state his commitment, dedication and above all his hard work took him to the highest position of the bank.
I write this brief tribute with a sense of sadness. I have known Nilanth from the time he joined the bank in 1974 and had cultivated a close friendship which lasted until his unfortunate demise. Those of us who had the opportunity to work under his purview remember him as a highly dedicated and committed member of the bank. He was above all a perfectionist who ensured every minute detail towards ensuring professionalism is adhered to at all times.
Wherever, he worked he was very careful in selecting his team and had his own methodology of managing people. He was instrumental in moulding the banking career of a vast number of bankers spread out in various parts of the globe, who I have no doubt will remember him with great affection and gratitude.
After his premature retirement from HNB, he continued with his journey in banking and joined Union Bank of Colombo as the Chief Operating Officer and was also the Acting CEO of the bank. During his tenure at Union Bank, he invited me to join his team at Union Bank, as he recognised and valued my strength. Even though I was at Pan Asia Bank, I accepted his invitation and was pleased to join his team. Thereafter, he was appointed as a Director to the HNB Board.
I last met him at my book launch where he made a review of my publication to the audience, which added greater value and appreciated my efforts in donating all proceeds to the Sri Lanka Cancer Society as he himself was a generous personality ever willing to help the needy.
We bid farewell to a great friend, colleague, gentleman, and a banker par excellence, and salute and thank him for all his valuable contributions to the banking industry especially to HNB.
M.C.V.Rajanathan, Past President HNB-Retired Employees Association
THE SUNDAY TIMES