Huge Shakeup at KEB

Hana Financial Vice Chmn. Yun Yong-ro to take over as CEO to create synergy between Hana Bank and Korea Exchange Bank

President Yun Yong-ro of Korea Exchange Bank said he will go as far as hiring more people if it is needed to strengthen the bank¡¯s core capacities including the recovery of the bank¡¯s role as the top bank in foreign exchange dealings in Korea.
CEO Yun, who is also vice chairman of Hana Financial Group, will assume the top job at KEB in the middle of next month following his approval at the bank¡¯s shareholders meeting, said he understands the feelings of the officers and staff of the bank which was taken over by Hana Financial Group as a majority stakeholder from the Lone Star Fund. ¡°I will go to any length to ease their pain,¡± Yun said.
He said the bank doesn¡¯t have enough personnel to take up the reorganization in a bid to put the bank¡¯s employees at ease over the personnel reshuffle that might follow. Yun said a lot of synergy will be created between Hana and KEB because the two financial organizations have different strong points and the median age of their personnel is also different.
KEB, in the meantime, slimmed its organization by increasing the number of business headquarters to 19, cutting the number of headquarters to nine from 14, and setting up eight groups to replace eight control and support headquarters as of Feb. 27.
Regarding organizational and personnel reforms, the bank said they were aimed at revitalizing the bank¡¯s operation and coping with new challenges by naming experts with confirmed leadership and new officers to lead the headquarters in consideration of new set ups, their areas of responsibility, and experiences.
The moves were also aimed at creating synergy between Hana Bank and KEB by exchanging top experts in the strong areas of the two banks ¡Æ¢â individual financing for Hana and overseas operations for KEB. Headquarters Manager Bang Ki-sok of KEB was assigned to Hana Bank as head of the Global Strategy Office; Shoi Im-gul, an expert on individual banking at Hana, was sent to KEB to take charge of the Individual Banking Sector; and Kwon Joon-il, an expert on private banking, was assigned to KEB as head of the PB Headquarters.
As the first step for the creation of synergy between Hana Bank and KEB, they will operate 5,800 ATMs and CD machines jointly from this month at key locations around the country. The two banks plan to expand their cooperation in the IT banking sectors in the future.
He also refuted the notion that Hana paid Lone Star too much to take over a 51 percent stake, comparing it to a heart-transplant operation for Hana. Compared to rival financial groups such as KB, Shinhan and Woori, Hana was the smallest in terms of assets, about 100 trillion won smaller than those rivals, and thus made it hard to compete with them. KEB, on the other hand, has only 100 trillion won in assets, not large enough to operate alone, showing the advantage of its merger with Hana Bank to make them the second largest financial group in Korea just after Kookmin Financial Group. ¡°A heart patient who needs a heart transplant has no choice but to take any healthy heart that can replace his sick heart,¡± Yun said to reject the notion that 4 trillion won was too much to take over KEB.
Yun is said to have a special love for KEB because he was involved in the privatization of the government-run bank in 1989 as a clerk with the Ministry of Finance. KEB, with its 7,600 employees, is far bigger than the Seoul, Chungcheong and Boram banks that Hana took over, becoming the largest affiliate in the financial group.
In the meantime, KEB posted 1.7 trillion won in net profit in 2011, up 53.7 percent YoY, due to a one-time profit from the sale of Hyundai Construction.
Its fourth quarter profit amounted to 276.7 billion won, up 136.4 percent YoY and up from 117.4 billion won in the preceding quarter, thanks to increased interest earnings and fee income and reductions in loan loss reserves. Total income for the fourth quarter amounted to 762 billion won, up 12.4 percent from 678 billion won in the preceding quarter.

A view of the Korea Exchange Bank building in Seoul. (inset)President Yun Yong-ro of Korea Exchange Bank

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