Nonghyup’s choice ends changing of financial guard

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Nonghyup’s choice ends changing of financial guard

Nonghyup Financial Group has nominated Lim Jong-ryong, former head of the Prime Minister’s Office, as its new chairman.

Yesterday’s announcement ends the leadership transition at four of Korea’s top six financial groups under the Park Geun-hye administration.

“Lim best suits the position, as we believe he will quickly understand the management environment of Nonghyup Financial Group and provide a blueprint [for the group’s future],” the nominating committee said in a press release. “He has rich experience and excellent knowledge in finance and economy from serving core positions that mapped out policies governing banks, brokerage firms and the financial sector.”

Nonghyup Financial said Lim will be officially appointed at today’s shareholder meeting.

Born in 1959 in Boseong, South Jeolla, Lim, who graduated from Yonsei University, currently serves as a chair professor at the university’s Graduate School of Economics. He served as first vice minister at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

Nonghyup Financial Group’s announcement came a day after KB Financial Group nominated Lim Young-rok, president of KB Financial Group, as chairman of the group. Chairman Euh Yoon-dae’s term will end July 12.

Of the nation’s six financial groups, the chairmen of Woori, KB, Nonghyup and KDB have changed or are scheduled to change as executives appointed during the Lee Myung-bak administration vacate their positions.

Woori Financial Group chairman-nominee and current Woori Bank president Lee Soon-woo is scheduled to take chairman post on June 14.

KDB Financial Group chairman Hong Ky-tack, an economics professor at ChungAng University and member of the economic subcommittee on Park’s transition team, took the top spot at the nation’s sixth-largest financial group in April.

The chairmen of Shinhan Financial Group and Hana Financial Group have not changed.

Meanwhile, after Lim Young-rok was nominated as chairman of the KB Financial on Wednesday, all eyes are on who will fill the CEO seat at KB Kookmin Bank.

The seat became vacant after Min Byung-deok, KB Kookmin Bank CEO, who competed with Lim for the financial group chairman position, tendered his resignation on Wednesday.

Possible candidates are Kookmin Card CEO Choi Gi-eui, Yoon Jong-kyoo, vice president of KB Financial Group, and Kim Ok-chan, vice president of KB Kookmin Bank.

“A large-scale personnel reshuffle in the KB Financial Group is likely to take place after the nomination of the bank’s CEO,” said an industry insider. “Woori Financial Group is likely to undergo a similar experience. Thirty executives of Woori Bank submitted resignations this week to pave the way for the new chairman. Among the 30 executives, Lee will decide who will work with him.”

Meanwhile, the Financial Supervisory Service has demanded that BS Financial Group Chairman Lee Jang-ho step down voluntarily as the financial watchdog found BS Financial allowed executives to concurrently hold multiple posts in the company. The FSS said Busan Bank, an affiliate of BS Financial Group, ran accounts under borrowed names of individuals in 2009.

By Kim Mi-ju []
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