Jin Ok-dong selected as Shinhan Financial Group chairman

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Jin Ok-dong selected as Shinhan Financial Group chairman

           Jin Ok-dong

Jin Ok-dong

 
A committee at Shinhan Financial Group selected Jin Ok-dong, CEO of Shinhan Bank, to become chairman of the country’s largest financial group by net profit.  
 
If the recommendation is approved by shareholders during an annual general meeting in March, Jin will serve as chairman until 2026.  
 
The committee cited a high standard of ethics and management skills as the reasons for the decision.  
 
Two others — incumbent Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-byoung and Shinhan Card CEO Lim Young-jin — were vying for the top post, but Cho bowed out at the last minute on Thursday after delivering a presentation. Cho said that he wants to leave the opportunity for a younger candidate.  
 
In Thursday’s address, Jin pledged to devise business strategies well aligned with environmental, social and governance mandates and values.  
 
As Shinhan Bank CEO, Jin’s focus has been expanding overseas business via its global operations in 10 countries as it faces market saturation and limited demand in Korea. The countries include Canada, the United States, Japan, Cambodia and Mexico.  
 
Jin himself spent nearly 20 years in Japan, taking on various roles including President of Shinhan Bank Japan.  
 
Born in 1961, he graduated from Korea National Open University with a major in business and went on to earn a master’s degree at Chung-Ang University in business.
 
Cho’s chairmanship is marked by mixed events. On the positive side, Shinhan Financial Group reclaimed the top spot as the best-performing financial firm by net profit during his term.  
 
But he also went through a series of court hearings on charges of illicit hiring practices when he served as Shinhan Bank CEO.  
Cho won his appeal of a conviction for corrupt hiring practices last year. The Seoul High Court overturned the conviction last January and a suspended sentence of six months in jail.
 
Prosecutors said Cho between 2015 and 2016 recruited sons and daughters of high-ranking government officials despite them having lower scores than other candidates. 

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]
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