|Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-byoung speaks during the general shareholders' meeting at the group headquarters in Seoul, Thursday. / Courtesy of Shinhan Financial Group|
By Park Jae-hyuk
Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-byoung was officially reappointed to another three-year term at a general shareholders meeting Thursday, overcoming opposition from the group's largest shareholder, the National Pension Service, and the world's largest proxy advisory service provider Institutional Shareholder Services over his alleged cronyism.
His reappointment has been attributed to Shinhan's satisfying performance throughout his first term.
In 2019, Shinhan maintained its status as the leading banking group with a 3.4 trillion won ($2.7 billion) net profit. The financial group has also enhanced its non-banking business with aggressive M&As while expanding its regional presence in Southeast Asia.
"I appreciate our shareholders and customers allowing me to serve as the chairman once more," he said. "I feel a sense of responsibility for living up to their expectations toward myself and Shinhan."
The chairman vowed to pursue open innovation, as part of efforts to become Asia's leading financial group, moving beyond simply being the biggest banking group in Korea.
"I will pursue openness and flexibility embracing private, public and academic sectors, so as to integrate cutting-edge technologies, extensive knowledge and talented people at Shinhan," he said, indicating that he will hire additional outside experts as he did during his first term.
He said Shinhan will preemptively offer its own innovative financing so that technically-skilled startups and small- and medium-sized enterprises continue their challenges for the future, getting over their present difficulties.
In response to customers who lost their money due to Lime Asset Management's suspension of fund redemptions, Cho apologized to those customers and promised his company will make every effort to restore its credibility.
"As Shinhan Investment announced last week, our group is doing our best to minimize our customer losses and to settle this situation as soon as possible," he said.
The chairman added Shinhan will overcome the current coronavirus crisis based on its resilience.
During the shareholders' meeting, Shinhan also appointed former Bank of Korea Deputy Governor Park Chul as board chairman.