KAMCO Celebrates Half Century of Operation

Chmn. Chang continues to focus on helping the financially poor and playing the role of safety pin for the national economy


Chairman and CEO Chang Young-chul of Korea Asset Management Corp. (KAMCO) said in his congratulatory speech on KAMCO¡¯s 50th anniversary on April 6 that he will steer the company to be an investment bank for the national economy by taking care of state assets and defaulted assets of state companies in an overall manner in the days ahead.
Chang said KAMCO took charge of saving the national economy from crises in the past half century, but in the coming century, KAMCO will devote its services to creating synergy by mixing its roles in the four major areas of its duties: finance, corporations, household finance, and the public sector.
¡°We will set up a hybrid-type operational system to cope dynamically with national crises if they ever occur,¡± the chairman said.
KAMCO kicked off its operation with 5.6 billion won in capital in 1962, but it has since grown to 860 billion won with assets totaling 100 trillion won. Now the company will forge ahead to accomplish its mission to become a century-old state-run financial bulwark for the national economy, the chairman said.
KAMCO has always played its role as a relief pitcher whenever the national economy faced crises. The company released 39.20 trillion won during the foreign exchange crisis of 1998 to take over 111 trillion won worth of bad assets of financial institutions, playing a great role in solving the national economic crisis. The company not only retrieved its funds used to solve the crisis, but recovered a total of 45.7 trillion won from the bad assets, 116 percent of the released funds.
KAMCO also helped 1.45 million people recover from their financial difficulties by opening a credit recovery program for the first time in Korea. In 2003, during the credit card crisis, KAMCO set up relief programs such as ¡°One Mind Finance¡± and ¡°Hope Collection¡± to help some 4 million people in financial defaults to recover their creditworthiness.
Since 1997, KAMCO spent 13.5 trillion won to help those with poor credit ratings, including those isolated from financial institutions, people with poor credit, and low-income people to recover their financial health.
KAMCO also is the largest manager of land lots with 450,000 of 620,000 land lots across the country belonging to the state under their management. From 1997, the company has been managing the land lots for the government by selling them or leasing them under the geographic intelligence system (GIS), and has been turning profits running to 700 billion won on average for the past three years, helping the government¡¯s purse.
Following are excerpts from Chairman Chang¡¯s interview with local media:
Question: How do you go about running KAMCO as it celebrates its half-century anniversary?
Answer: It is said that only 2 percent of businesses survive their 50th year in business, and for KAMCO its been a great shot in the arm, thus the occasion is a very significant one for the company.
KAMCO has been a safety pin for the national economy for the past half century, and it will continue to be a company that sustains public faith in its operation in the next half century.
Q: What are some of your achievements since your arrival at KAMCO in November 2010 as the 22nd chairman and CEO?
A: In the past 30 odd years of my public career, I have worked in such areas as the future development of Korea and the reform of state-held corporations, among other areas related to national progress, and now I have been put to work on the frontlines to play the role of a safety pin for the national economy.
Looking back at 2011, we at KAMCO devoted much of our time to helping overcome the effects of the global economic crisis. In the areas of the company¡Æ¨ªs operation, its net profit beat projections by 280 percent at 106 billion won.
Q: Since your inauguration as the CEO, you stressed support for low-income families. Can you tell us why it is needed and what plans you have for the issue?
A: With the gap between the rich and the poor widening these years, low-income people can easily become the people who are avoided by financial institutions if they don¡¯t get help at the right time. Therefore, the financial programs for those people as a social and economic safety pin is critical to prevent them from falling into the class of people considered ¡°financially worthless.¡±
We still need such programs to help those in financially poor health, who are estimated to be around 2.47 million across the country. This year, KAMCO will seek out more of those people and help them.

KAMCO Chairman and CEO Chang Young-chul offers a consulting service to a visiting customer.

Chairman and CEO Chang Young-chul of Korea Asset Management Corp.

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