Shinhan Investment CEO resigns over Lime Asset role

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Shinhan Investment CEO resigns over Lime Asset role

Shinhan Investment’s CEO Kim Byung-chul resigned Friday for his role in the Lime Asset Management fiasco, which could ultimately cost investors more than 1 trillion won ($797 billion) after the financial company, along with others, directed customers to problematic funds managed by Lime.

“I apologize as the head of the company for the huge loss incurred to investors who purchased investment items at Shinhan Investment,” Kim was quoted as saying at the board meeting on Friday. “Whether Shinhan Investment is accountable for the loss or not, it is right to step down in order to normalize the management of Shinhan Investment and win back customers’ trust.”

Shinhan Investment had sold 324.8 billion won worth of the four shaky funds operated by Lime Asset, an amount exceeded only by Woori Bank, which sold 357.7 billion won worth of the funds.

Lime Asset Management is Korea’s largest hedge fund operator. As four of its funds began having liquidity issues last year, the firm froze withdrawals, and has since indicated investors may lose more than 1 trillion of the 1.6 trillion won initially invested in the four funds.

Lee Young-chang, former vice president at Mirae Asset Daewoo, formerly known as Daewoo Securities, was nominated as a candidate for the vacant post.

“Lee is evaluated as a man of perseverance, breaking through global financial crisis by heading planning and management support teams [at Daewoo Securities],” Shinhan Investment said.

Lee’s appointment will be decided at the shareholder meeting Thursday.

By Jin Eun-soo

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