Chmn. Lee Prepares for Privatization of Woori Financial Group
Task force to set up strategies to cut over 30 pct. of employees and scale back all affiliates
Chairman Lee Soon-woo of the Woori Financial Group, who has been promoted recently to
the position. He will also continue to head Woori Bank as its president. (photo courtesy of WFG)
Chairman Lee Soon-woo of the Woori Financial Group, who also is president of Woori Bank, is now busy getting all the reports from the heads of the group’s affiliates including Woori Card, Woori Investment and Securities, and Kyungnam Bank, among others, after launching a task force for the privatization of the group, financial sources said recently.
He has set up a team to handle the transformation of the group, including all of its affiliates. The target is to scale down the size of those affiliates by a third, including the number of employees as well as the replacement of some of the affiliates’ heads, financial sources said recently.
The chairman gave orders to the task force to work on the reduction of the scale of all affiliates, replacement of CEOs of affiliates, reorganization of all affiliates, and strategies for the privatization of all affiliates. The task force is made of 10 members selected from among executives of both Woori Bank and Woori Investment and Securities, they said.
The head of the task force is President Kim Seung-kyu of Woori Credit Information who came up through the ranks, serving in various positions including the director of the group’s strategic planning division and vice president in charge of management planning for Woori Bank, making him an expert on strategy.
The task force currently is tied up with the problems associated with scaling down the organization and personnel of all affiliates by more than 30 percent. Presently, the team is occupied with merging 17 departments into 10, including global strategy, auditing departments Nos.1 and 2, the IT planning, and secretary-general’s office for social service, among others. A major purpose of the move is to reduce the scale of the affiliates to make them suitable for privatization.
For example, the number of employees totaling Woori Financial Holding will be cut to 100 from 150, which will also have an impact on Woori Bank, Woori Investment and Securities, and other major affiliates.
Lee was scheduled to receive reports from all of the affiliates except Woori Bank starting June 3. The CEOs of each affiliate present the reports, with the support of the CFO, to the chairman-designate. He already received a report from Woori Financial Holdings on May 30.
Woori Financial Group (WFG) was established as Korea’s first financial holding company in April 2001 to keep pace with global trends and evolve as a global player with world-class competitiveness.
Since its launch, the group has achieved remarkable growth in the banking business thanks to the consolidated performance of banking subsidiaries, has and continued to expand its non-banking businesses through mergers and acquisitions and joint investments. As a result, WFG became Korea’s representative financial group.
WFG consists of eight main subsidiaries and various smaller affiliates include Woori Bank, the nation’s second largest commercial bank; two regional banks (Kwangju Bank and Kyungnam Bank); Woori Investment & Securities, one of the leading securities firms; Woori Card; Woori Aviva Life Insurance; Woori Asset Management; Woori Financial; Woori FG Savings Bank; Woori Private Equity; Woori F&I; Woori Finance Information System; and Woori Finance Research Institute.
Approximately 28,000 highly skilled employees provide differentiated and customized financial services through 1,500 domestic and overseas networks. More than 23 million corporate and retail customers are enjoying the group’s comprehensive financial services in the fields of commercial banking, credit cards, capital markets, investment banking, asset management, security brokerage, leasing, and bancassurance. The group’s total assets and shareholders’ equity stood at W411 trillion and W18.7 trillion, respectively, which represents the largest scale in Korea.
WFG is now taking on new challenges toward becoming a world-class financial group beyond just the leading financial group in Korea.
To this end, we are strengthening our non-banking businesses, including consumer financing and insurance, to develop new profit models on the basis of bolstering core competencies as well as creating group synergy.