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KB nominates Hur Yin as new head of bank

Oct 13,2017
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Hur Yin
KB Financial Group nominated a vice president of KB Kookmin Bank as the new chief executive of the bank on Wednesday, a move that will put an end to a management structure where the chairman of the group has doubled as head of the bank.

Hur Yin, currently a vice president of KB Financial Group’s banking unit, was tapped as the next CEO of the bank.

If approved by the shareholders during a meeting slated for late November, the 56-year-old will replace the incumbent CEO of the bank and chairman of the group Yoon Jong-kyoo.

Yoon is poised to win a second term as the chairman of Korea’s largest financial holding company by asset size as he is the sole candidate for the position.

Both Yoon and Hur will begin their terms on November 21.

Hur will be the first independent head of the bank in three years.

Before chairman Yoon, the CEO of the bank was separate from the head of the Group. But in 2014, an internal rift took place between the management of the group and the bank, which eventually forced the group chairman and the bank CEO to step down from their posts.

Since the dispute, Yoon, who was appointed as the new chairman of the group immediately following the incident, has been overseeing the bank as well.

A selection committee reportedly decided on Sept. 26, when the final interview for chairman Yoon took place, to separate the leadership of the group and the bank.

Some analysts say that the nomination of Yoon for a second term was a clear indication that the board of directors decided that the management structure of the group has stabilized since the dispute three years ago.

“The reappointment of Yoon will help solidify the ‘promotion-from-within’ system [of the group], ensuring management continuity and stability,” said Choi Chung-uk, an analyst from Daishin Securities.

Another industry insider explained that the mergers and acquisitions of non-banking companies by the group, such as the acquisition of Hyundai Securities to establish KB Securities, has given Yoon too much to do, making it difficult to oversee the group and the bank at the same time.

The nomination of Hur is seen as an attempt to relieve the chairman of the burden.

“I will lead the bank in line with the [management] principles of Chairman Yoon Jong-gyu,” Hur told reporters on Thursday when asked how he will work with the chairman of the group.


BY CHOI HYUNG-JO [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]