Hana Financial Group has embarked on the process to select a new leadership replacing outgoing chair Kim Jung-tae after a 10-year reign.
The South Korean leading financial conglomerate on Wednesday arranged the first meeting of an eight-member independent committee responsible for nominating the next chairman before Kim’s fourth term ends in March.
The committee comprised of outside board directors would be reviewing a list of candidates compiled by an outside firm to come up with the first shorted list of around 20.
Kim has not joined the committee as he has repeatedly denied extending his term as the move requires a change in the corporate article that caps the age limit of board members at 70. Kim turns 70 this year.
Top candidates are Ham Young-joo and Ji Sung-kyu, co-vice chairmen of the group and Park Sung-ho, president of Hana Bank.
Ham is said to be the primary internal choice. He was the first president of Hana Bank after merger with Korea Exchange Bank. He made the shortlist last year but did not make the last cut as he had been involved in two trials – one on favoritism in hiring and another on mis-sale of derivative-linked funds (DLFs). He has appealed to both cases. Since the ruling is pending, the results would determine his chance for the top post.
A non-guilty ruling on Shinhan Financial Holding chair on similar charge is expected to affect the hiring trial results on Ham due in February. Invalidation ruling on the administrative penalty on Woori Financial Holding chair for mis-sale also could act favorably for Hana’s executives in their own case.
The review committee is expected to decide a shortlist next month to consider trial process.
By Kim Yoo-sin and Jenny Lee
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]