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`Korea Must Develop Its Corporate Bond Market`

Posted October. 23, 2009 09:07,   


“To advance Korea’s financial market, developing the market for corporate bonds is urgent. Korea cannot be Asia’s financial hub as long as businesses resort to bank loans because they are unable to get funding from the corporate bond market.”

Andrew Kim, 73, advisory director at Sit Investment Associates, Inc., said this in an interview with The Dong-A Ilbo yesterday in New York. Kim is the first Korean-born analyst to make a name on Wall Street.

He also received a prize the same day for his accomplishments at the Fourth Annual Building Bridges Gala hosted by the Korean American Community Foundation the same day. The foundation is a profit organization founded by Korean Americans.

Kim went to the U.S. to study as a freshman at Seoul National University. After earning an MBA from Cornell University, he worked for FI du Pont as a research analyst.

After working about 20 years on Wall Street as an analyst or investment manager, he co-founded Sit/Kim International Investment, a joint venture with Sit Investment Associates, in 1989 and retired as president in 2000.

“Minority groups still face the glass ceiling on Wall Street, though the situation has become better than when I first worked there,” he said. “For Koreans to be successful on Wall Street, they should build human networks with Americans by attending church with Americans and playing golf with American colleagues.”

On the global financial crisis, Kim said, “Until the 1990s, when my career peaked, the leverage ratio of investment banks was around 10:1, but it has skyrocketed to 60:1,” adding, “I agree that Wall Street greed led to the crisis.”

He also blamed the failure of U.S. financial authorities under the Bush administration to rein in Wall Street due to its opposition of government intervention in the market.

On Korea’s bid to take over a financial company on Wall Street, “It’s fortunate that Korea did not take over the company,” adding, “Taking over a Wall Street company means taking over people. If a Korean company takes over a Wall Street company, most of the employees of the latter will leave.”