Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Women leaders in South Korea’s banking

Women leaders in South Korea’s banking

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Wang Mi-hwa is named as head of the Shinhan Financial Group’s wealth management unit for this year on December 21. SHINHAN BANK/THE KOREA HERALD

Women leaders in South Korea’s banking

The thick glass ceiling in the finance industry of South Korea got a few more cracks in the last month, with the latest reshuffles in the country’s leading banking and securities brokerage companies having nominated women leaders to the top posts.

The nomination of Park Jeong-rim as the co-CEO of KB Securities on December 19 marked another leap forward, as she is set to become the first female CEO of a brokerage firm in Korea. Her nomination awaits approval in the upcoming general shareholders’ meeting and board of directors’ meeting. KB Securities is Korea’s third-largest securities brokerage firm by net asset.

Park has also been named as deputy president of KB Financial Group, KB Securities’ financial holding company, to head its capital market business unit.

Her background in both banking and securities firms with specialty in wealth management are said to bode well for the group-wide aim to create some 20 more branches dedicated to one-stop private banking for retail banking services, investment management and brokerage service.

As of end-December, KB Financial Group operates 64 such branches across the nation.

Park has spearheaded the wealth management business of the group since last year. She has led related units as a senior executive vice-president of KB Kookmin Bank and deputy president of both KB Financial Group and KB Securities.

Park started her career in financial industry in 1986 at the Seoul branch of Chase Manhattan Bank, a precursor to JPMorgan Chase Bank. Before joining KB Kookmin Bank in 2004, she dealt with asset management at Chohung Bank, which was later acquired by Shinhan Bank and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance.

Within KB Financial Group, Park is set to become the second woman to take a CEO post at the group, following Kim Hae-kyung of KB Credit Information.

The year-end reshuffles in major banking groups also invited more female executives.

In Shinhan Financial Group, Wang Mi-hwa was named as head of the group’s wealth management unit, taking charge of the wealth management business of the group’s bank and brokerage. Wang is also expected to double as executive vice-president of Shinhan Bank.

Cho Kyoung-sun was named as Shinhan Bank’s executive vice-president in charge of its sales channel planning group. Before Wang and Cho, Shinhan Bank’s board of directors had no female executives this year.

KB Kookmin Bank has also named two new female executives for the New Year. Cho Soon-ok would become compliance officer and managing director of the bank, while Kim Chong-ran would lead the bank’s trust division. The tenure of the only female executive, KB Securities’ CEO nominee Park, has expired on Monday.

The news came amid lack of representation of women in leadership and executive level of the industry, despite over half of its rank-and-file employees being women.

As of 2017, just four per cent of financial sector executives were women, according to data compiled by ruling Democratic Party of Korea representative Je Youn-kyung. Commercial banks in Korea had 18 women among their 269 executives. This comes in contrast to 58 per cent of some 58,000 bank tellers being women.

Both brokerage firms and asset management firms in Korea had 3.0 per cent of female executives each, while 3.9 per cent of executives in financial holding companies were women. The data on rank-and-file staff of those firms were unavailable.

The first woman leader in Korea’s financial sector, meanwhile, is Lee Eo-ryong, wife of late chairman of Daishin Financial Group Yang Hye-moon. She succeeded the chair post immediately after Yang died in 2004. In 2013, Kwon Seon-joo became the first woman to become a CEO in the banking industry, at the state-led Industrial Bank of Korea. THE KOREA HERALD/ANN

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial