KB looking for new leader

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KB looking for new leader

Following Woori Financial Group, the board of directors at KB Financial Group met yesterday and formed a special committee to accelerate the process of nominating a new chairman, who will succeed Euh Yoon-dae after his term ends in July.

Chairman Euh said recently that he will not seek a second term.

Eight of the nine members of the board, including the chief, Lee Kyung-jae, gathered yesterday at KB Financial Group’s headquarters in Myeong-dong, central Seoul, to attend the management strategy meeting. One director was out of the city on a business trip.

After the management meeting, the board of directors agreed to form a special committee to nominate and screen potential candidates to become the new KB Financial chairman. Koh Seung-hee, one of the board members and a professor at Sookmyung Women’s University, was designated to head the special committee.

“It is up to the committee to choose whether they will receive applications from anyone [like Woori Financial] or receive recommendations from others, including board members,” said an official from KB Financial.

Industry sources say that unlike Woori Financial Group, KB Financial will not receive applications overtly but will take recommendations and then screen potential nominees.

By mid-June, KB Financial should have decided who will succeed the current chairman, considering that Euh’s term ends on July 12. A shareholders’ meeting is expected to be held in July.

So far, Lim Young-rok, president of KB Financial and former second vice finance minister, and Min Byung-duk, president of KB Kookmin Bank, have shown a keen interest in taking the KB Financial chairman position.

According to sources, others are Jun Kwang-woo, former head of the National Pension Service, and Chin Dong-soo, former chairman of the Financial Services Commission.

The role of the new KB Financial chairman is considered important because KB Financial is thought to be a potential buyer of major stakes in Woori Financial.

Woori Financial has also begun its own process of nominating a new chairman.

Monday was the deadline for candidates wishing to apply for the new chairman position to submit documents and 13 officials, including Lee Duk-hoon and Lee Chong-hwi, former Woori Bank presidents, and Lee Soon-woo, the current president, have applied, according to sources.

Woori Financial will screen documents until today and notify those selected for an interview.

By Lee Eun-joo [angie@joongang.co.kr]
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