Woori Bank’s Executives Candidates Recommendation Committee has decided to recommend Sohn Tae-seung as president and CEO of the bank.
Sohn is a former head of the Global Operation Sector. He began to work for Woori Bank when Hanil Bank was merged with Woori. He is a former employee of the now defunct Hanil Bank.
He came up through a number of key posts throughout his banking career, including such key areas as marketing, strategy and international operations.
The most impressive part of his banking experience was in the area of global operations, including IB and foreign exchange. He was credited with achieving all targets while he was heading the various sectors as the top official in charge. In his first media session since he was named to the top post of the bank, he said he will make sure there is no internal strife, especially among employees.
Asked what he would to alleviate any tensions between the employees of Hana Bank and the former Hanil Bank, he said personnel matters will always be based on results and achievements as the deciding factors in any personnel moves.
Former President Lee Kwang-goo resigned on Nov. 2, taking responsibility after it was revealed that the bank had hired the children and relatives of National Intelligence Service officials, the Financial Supervisory Service, and important clients of the bank. President Sohn was named to fill the vacant top post of the bank on Nov. 30.
He told the media that he will try to tidy up the bank’s domestic reputation, while helping the bank’s overseas operations take root to localize operations in the countries they operate. He also stressed that the bank takes good care of households and SMEs by financing balanced growth.
He said he will see that no large household loans are provided and SMEs get more loans to boost their operations, both at home and abroad, and contribute more to the growth of the national economy. He said household debt has reached its limit, and therefore, the bank will have to find its growth elsewhere. Expanding loans to SMEs is one of the ways to boost the bank’s operation, he said.
The quantitative growth of the global operation, digitalization of the bank, personnel achievement evaluation system, improvement of corporate culture and the erection of an integrated group structure are some of the bank’s key management strategies as he assumes the top managerial post of the bank.
The bank should help as many SMEs and startups as possible so that they could be of help to the national economy.
He also said the bank will also take on M&As of asset management firms to advance its operation as an integrated financial group, starting with smaller ones.
The new CEO also said the bank will go for an additional purchase of its shares from the Korea Deposit Insurance Corp. to speed up privatization, and the bank will spare no effort to expedite the move.
He will try to make the bank one that is trusted by its clients and responsive to shareholders, a bank that the market trusts, and a bank to take pride in by employees.
Born in 1959, Sohn is a law degree graduate of Sunggyunkwan University and earned an MA at Seoul National University Law School. He started his banking career with Hanil Bank before its merger with Woori Bank. He went up through the rank and file of Woori Bank including manager of the Strategic Planning Team, director of the Fund Market Team and head of the Global Operation Headquarters.