Professor nominated KDB chairman

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Professor nominated KDB chairman

Hong Ky-tack, a 61-year-old economy professor at Chung-Ang University, was nominated yesterday to be the new chairman of Korea Development Bank (KDB) Financial Group and its banking unit KDB.

He will succeed Kang Man-soo, a close aide to former President Lee Myung-bak who tendered his resignation to the Blue House last week amid mounting pressure to pave the way for the Park Geun-hye administration to start anew.

The Financial Services Commission said it made a recommendation to the Blue House to appoint Hong.

“Hong is an academic expert on international finance and macroeconomics and has various career experiences, including as an outside director of a financial institution,” the country’s financial regulator said in a statement yesterday.

The process to appoint the KDB Financial Group chairman includes the FSC Chairman Shin Je-yoon, a former vice finance minister, recommending a nominee to the Blue House.

“Hong was nominated [by the FSC] to lead KDB Financial Group as he is seen as an adequate person who is able to boost the country’s real economy through reform in the financial policy system and creative finance,” the FSC said.

After graduating from Kyunggi High School, Hong studied economy at Sogang University in Seoul. He participated in establishing President Park’s Institute for the Future of State and was selected to take part in the first economy subcommittee under the presidential transition team. There was controversy over his title as an outside director of Nonghyup Financial Group. He later stepped down.

Hong will succeed Kang, who expressed his intent to step down last month. Kang’s resignation and the appointment of Park “economy-man” Hong is expected to put more pressure on other financial chairmen appointed during the Lee administration. The focus is now on whether Lee Pal-seung, chairman of Woori Financial Group, will resign. FSC Chairman Shin yesterday indirectly urged Lee, another close aide to the former president, to give up his post.

“[The chairman post of Woori Financial] should be held by a person who is able to share the administration’s philosophy and the will to privatize,” Shin said.

By Lee Eun-joo []
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