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An Interview with the President of Woori Finance Holdings

An Interview with the President of Woori Finance Holdings

Posted April. 11, 2007 07:57,   


Park Byeong-won, president of Woori Finance Holdings, said, “There are many things I can learn here since I am a new employee,” at the 21st Financial Forum, which was held at the international conference hall of the Korea Federation of Banks located in Myeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul at 7:30 a.m. yesterday. This conference was organized by the Financial Engineering Research Center of Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Park carefully listened to a presentation titled, “International comparison of banks’ competitive power,” made by Kim Gyeong-won, a researcher of the Samsung Economic Research Institute.

In particular, Park gave a nod of agreement to Kim’s stress, saying that, “Since the 1997 financial crisis, even though Korean banks have achieved asset soundness, in terms of international competitive power, we have a still long way to go. Unless we work hard for the improvement of our professional financial power, which is at its lowest level, and advance our risk management methods, we could easily fall into a financial crisis again.”

After this presentation, Park fielded a question about the impression he got after working for a week as president. Park responded the question with a sigh, saying, “I, as president of Woori Financial Group, agree with Kim’s point warning of a domestic bank crisis. Actually I am studying hard to find out how we can improve the situation.”

Responding to a question asking, “Which part do you want to improve?” Park said that, “Finance is not a simple business that people can fix only after a week of working,” adding, “I would like you guys to relax and give us time.”

Meanwhile, regarding the recent appointment of executives of Woori Bank, Park said, “Even though I was not directly involved in personnel management, I had talks with Park Hae-choon, president of Woori Bank, many times,” adding, “From the years when I worked for the Ministry of Finance and Economy, my principle of personnel management is to hire people who get credit from their co-workers.”

In addition, Park said at a executive meeting held at the same day that, “In order to create a synergy effect among affiliated companies, apart from institutional reform, executive attitudes also should be changed,” and ordered the establishment of system to compensate executive members who come up with ideas for maximizing the synergy effect.