CEO Ryu of Korea Investment Securities, Longest Serving CEO in Securities Industry
The top official of KIS has been reappointed 11 consecutive times for his outstanding achievement to conclude numerous sparkling securities transactions for the company and logging 1 trillion won in operating profit in 2017 for the first time ever
President Ryu Sang-ho of Korea Investment Securities Co.
President Ryu Sang-ho of Korea Investment and Securities Co. (KIS) has a reputation for being the longest serving CEO of a securities firm. He was reappointed 11 consecutive times while piloting KIS in logging a 1 trillion won annual operating profit, the first time a Korean securities firm has achieved the milestone.
KIS also became the first securities firm to have an employee below the executive level earn 2.2 billion won in salary and other income. That’s even more than the CEO made last year, which has been attributed by many to the CEO’s personnel policy that favors talented employees and giving them as many chances as possible to earn his or her income on the job.
He always believed that employees could do a lot for the company they work for with something as simple as a brilliant idea. The company should always be ready to reward employee for his or her brilliant achievements on the job.
When President Ryu first joined the securities industry in the latter half of the 1980s, the compensation system was based on seniority, not the merit.
He set out to reform the system to be based merit when he became manager of the Wholesale Dep’t of Dongwon Securities in 2002 before it was renamed as Korea Investment and Securities. He wanted to make compensation based strictly on the merit of employees, departing from the system favoring seniority.
The new merit-based system began to show its advantages with employees working harder to take advantage of the new personnel system. Other dep’ts began to copy the system. Thanks to the merit system he created, Manager Ryu was promoted to take over as the CEO of the company in 2007 becoming the youngest CEO of a securities firm in Korea as he was just 47 years old, then.
He called for top talents, top achievement and top remuneration as soon as he took over the CEO office, true to the management philosophy he always maintained.
He always believed that remuneration for jobs well done will help retain talented personnel at the company and inspire others to try harder for their companies all the time.
The KIS executives’ average years on the job in 7.4. Their responsibilities are firm as their compensation is excellent.
The executives complain that jobs assigned to them this year were too heavy, but they achieved them doing their level best and they were told to do more next year.
At the end of the year, though, they will celebrate their achievements, as most of the objectives for the year will have been fulfilled with room to spare. President Ryu believes that the annual targets should be set on a level that will be able to bring out the best efforts from them, but on the highest levels by any realistic measure.
CEO Ryu himself often called talented personnel of the company directly. Vice Chairman Kim Nam-koo of Korea Investment and Securities Holding Co. had a hard time recruiting the CEO. As rumors on his transfer began to fly, employees of the company did not want to let him go. It took almost six months for Ryu to leave his former company.
The CEO believes that what separates a top securities man from his peers is his talent for doing securities transactions. He earned his nickname “James the Legend” from his talent for concluding excellent securities deals. They got James from the 007 movies when he was working for a London branch of Daewoo Securities in the 1900s. T
he last three digits of his phone numbers also were 007 to show that he should move as fast as the agent 007 did in the movies to collect information on listed firms and others on the stock market.
At the time, he set the record of 5 percent of all stock transactions was made thru him.
The legendary agent was still at work although he became the top man of the company.
He always goes along with the requests from the Marketing Dep’t to meet certain CEOs of the securities firms for consummate the deals even though he is the CEO.
A view of the building where Korea Investment Securities Co. is located. (Photos: KIS)