Synergy between Hana and KEB

Group is ready to acquire foreign financial institutions when proper targets appear

Chairman Kim Jung-tae of Hana Financial Group said the group is ready to take over an insurance firm at any time if the right opportunity arrives, but has ruled out taking over ING Life, which is being contested by KB Financial Group and Samsung Life, by saying it is not right for Hana.
During a media briefing at Lotte Hotel, the new chairman said Hana Financial¡¯s weakest area is the insurance business, as it doesn¡¯t have an insurance affiliate yet.
Kim also said the group will increase investments in the IT sector because Hana Bank will have to strengthen its online banking to cover up its weak offline business. He will take time to think about the merger of Hana Card with KEB Card, now that Korea Exchange Bank has become a Hana affiliate.
As for possible problems arising from the takeover of Korea Exchange Bank, he said he could tell by the experiences from takeovers of a number of banks including Seoul, Boram, and Chungcheong Banks by Hana Financial that the officials and staff of those banks develop close relations as they work together, providing the opportunity to move toward the merger in a natural manner, showing that he is not in a hurry to merge the two banks for a while.
Kim used the word ¡°exchange¡± instead of ¡°integration¡± when talking about the merger, adding that friendliness is his special talent and he is ready for the close of the move, like a closing pitcher in baseball.
Asked whether former chairman Kim Seung-yu would wield great power now that he remains as a consultant after resigning as chairman, Kim said he would have to seek a lot of advice from the former chairman.
Kim said Presidents Kim Jong-joon and Yun Yong-ro are like two military field generals and they¡¯ve got to do a great job for each of their banks, Hana and KEB, for Hana Financial to do well. Chairman Kim said he would not interfere with the management of those two banking affiliates, leaving it up to the two CEOs, as if to refer to the management style of rival financial groups including KB Financial and Woori Financial. He said CEO Kim should do what he can in running Hana Bank, while CEO Yun should know how best he can run KEB to help the group to be among the top 50 financial groups in the world by 2015, as targeted by the group¡¯s strategy.
Kim is said to believe that a chairman has only to do what his job description says, no more or no less, which is his management philosophy. Kim will always be humble, but says he will be tough when he has to in running the group.
He believes that the chairman of a holding company is the commander for the entire group in charge of overall matters, no more and no less, and he should not show up here and there all at once so that the entire group can move in the right direction. He believes that a chairman should be a ¡°helper¡± so that CEOs of each affiliate firm under the group can do their jobs well.
Kim moved his office from the 8th floor of the Hana Financial building to the 15th floor of the annex building because the office of the CEO of Hana Bank is on the 7th floor, which Kim thought was too close and, therefore, could be burdensome to the bank head. He believes that there should be a certain distance between the chairman and the bank president so that the bank CEO can do his job without being bothered.
Kim stressed fellowship in his inaugural speech, which, he said, is as important as strong leadership. He added that Hana Financial should play its deserved role as the second largest financial group in Korea after taking over KEB.
Kim said that the tough leadership of his predecessor has made Hana Financial what it is today and he will do his best to further develop the group through fellowship among employees of the group.

(left) Chairman Kim Jung-tae of Hana Financial Group.

Views of the Hana Financial Group head office building near South Gate in Seoul (center) and KEB head office building (right).

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