KB Financial Group appoints Yang Jong-hee as new chair

SEOUL – In a decisive move, KB Financial Group has appointed Yang Jong-hee as its new chairman, with an overwhelming approval rate of 97.52%. The appointment, which received endorsements from influential advisory firms ISS, Glass Lewis, and a significant shareholder, the National Pension Service, will see Yang taking the helm of the financial giant starting November 21.

Yang Jong-hee’s ascent to the top position follows a robust tenure at KB Financial Group where he has been instrumental in shaping the company’s strategic direction. His career with KB began in 1989, and he has since held pivotal roles including head of KB Insurance and vice-chairman of the group. Most notably, Yang played a central role in the acquisition of LIG Insurance in 2015, which was subsequently rebranded as KB Insurance.

During his time as vice-chairman, Yang oversaw major business divisions such as retail customers, wealth management, and pensions. His leadership has been marked by a focus on enhanced credit risk management and efforts to normalize operations at KB Bukopin, KB Kookmin Bank’s Indonesian branch.

Yang’s commitment to maintaining robust shareholder returns is evident from the group’s performance last year, which boasted a 33% shareholder return rate and a 26% dividend payout ratio. In his recent meeting with local reporters at the company’s headquarters in Seoul, he emphasized the importance of continuing long-term capital management and shareholder return policies championed by his predecessor Yoon Jong-kyoo.

As Yang prepares to step into his new role on Sunday, he is set to join a crucial meeting with other financial group leaders and financial authorities to discuss financial aid packages for small businesses and low-income borrowers. This engagement reflects his dedication to steering KB Financial Group through challenging financial times while upholding strategies that have contributed significantly to its success.

Yang Jong-hee’s educational background includes a degree in Korean history from Seoul National University after graduating from Jeonju High School in his hometown of Jeonju, North Jeolla Province. With this wealth of experience and academic grounding, Yang is poised to lead KB Financial Group into a future that promises both stability and growth for its stakeholders.

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