Woori Bank president Sohn Tae-seung has been appointed to lead Woori Financial Group, which will be revived in January 2019, five years after its dissolution in 2014.
Woori Bank held an interim board meeting on Nov. 8 and announced that the board has decided to allow Sohn, who was appointed as the bank’s president in December 2017, to double as chairman of the newly established holding company.
Under a plan adopted by the board, Sohn will lead both the bank and its holding company until the bank’s general shareholders' meeting in March 2020. Then the two posts will be separated.
The board has appointed Sohn as chairman of Woori Financial Group without setting up a separate committee for the nomination of executives.
The board’s decision to allow Sohn to lead the two organizations at the same time was based on its judgment that there is a need for the Woori Bank president to lead the holding company in its initial period after establishment.
Even after the launch of the holding company, Woori Bank’s importance is absolute within the financial group. This makes it inevitable that the bank plays a pivotal role in the management of the entire group. Furthermore, cooperation between the bank and the holding company is important until the pending issues, such as bringing Woori Card and Woori Investment Co. under the control of the holding company, are resolved.
The board of Woori Bank also decided to fill the holding company’s board with outside directors recommended by the bank’s current major shareholders. Currently, Woori Bank has five outside directors recommended by oligopolistic shareholders such as IMM PE, Tongyang Life Insurance, Hanwha Life Insurance, Kiwoom Securities and Korea Investment & Securities.
The term of outside directors of the holding company is two years.
Woori Bank president Sohn will be officially appointed as Woori Financial Group chairman at a shareholders` meeting scheduled for Dec. 28.
Sohn was appointed to lead the bank unexpectedly following the abrupt resignation of his predecessor Lee Kwang-koo due to his involvement in the recruitment irregularities.
Woori Financial Group was launched as Korea`s first financial holding company in 2001, but disappeared into history when it merged with Woori Bank in November 2014.