Korea leaders gather for a Los Angeles confab

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Korea leaders gather for a Los Angeles confab

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From left: Vitabon CEO Lim Bo-min, Kencoa Aerospace CEO Lee Min-kyu, OCON CEO Kim Il-ho, Jenny Chu, Riviera Country Club Corporate Officer Michael Yamaki, Sony Pictures Executive Vice President Jeffrey Godsick and movie star Park Si-hoo pose for a photo at a social meeting held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, earlier this month. [THE KOREA DAILY]

Korean industrial leaders gathered to explore global expansion opportunities and push for open innovation.

At the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, earlier this month, around 80 executives from a wide range of businesses met.

The attendants included Hugh Hilton, founding partner of Alvarez & Marsal Capital Real Estate; Jason Cowett, principal at private equity firm Odyssey Investment Partners; Mark Kelson, chair of the Los Angeles Corporate Practice at global-based law firm Greenberg Traurig; and Houman Mahboubi, executive vice president of JLL.

A number of Korean industry leaders also attended, including Ha Kee-whan, former president of the Korean American Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, Timing CEO Kim Bo-hwan and Bruce Park, vice president of treasury at Molina Healthcare.

The Korean executives, like many non-Korean leaders, were at the event to meet Jenny Chu, an advisor for the Boars Club, which has been hosting the Beverly Hills social event for the past 15 years.

Chu is one of the most recognized Korean asset management experts in the U.S. investment banking community and worked for the Union Bank of Switzerland, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan.

“We have decided to set the goal of this meeting as ‘Open Innovation’ starting this year,” Chu said. “Promoting co-growth by exchanging information and ideas here at this meeting is open innovation itself.”

The meeting Chu has been hosting for 15 years developed and got cues from the Israel Conference, which invites major Israeli IT firms and businessmen to get together and discuss global expansion. Chu’s is different from the Israel Conference in that hers seeks to provide a room for discussion beyond the IT industry and for everyone across all sectors.

She says it is also essentially a “Korean Conference” that helps Koreans and Korean companies expand overseas.

The latest iteration invited four young entrepreneurs to attend - Lee Min-kyu, CEO of Kencoa Aerospace; OCON CEO and President Kim Il-ho; Lim Bo-min, head of Vitabon, which developed a vaping vitamin product; and Daelim Paper CEO Ryu Chang-seung.

At the latest meeting, Lee discussed possible investment opportunities with Cowett, while Kim had a meeting with Jeffrey Godsick, executive vice president of brand strategy and global partnerships at Sony Pictures.

“I am opening up the network I built over the past 25 years for open innovation,” Chu said. “The meeting will serve as a hub for Korean companies, even the ones that are not in Korea.”

BY CHUNG KOO-HYUN [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]

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