Brokerages’ association chief refuses to step down despite ‘gapjil’ brawl

By Jung Min-kyung
  • Published : Oct 30, 2019 - 17:41
  • Updated : Oct 30, 2019 - 18:19

The head of South Korea’s self-regulatory organization of the financial investment services industry refused to step down on Wednesday despite a public outcry over recent allegations of verbal abuse of his staff -- behavior dubbed “gapjil” in Korean.

“I have decided to continue as Korea Financial Investment Association chairman until the end of my term,” Kwon Yong-won said in a press conference held at the organization’s headquarters in Yeouido.
KOFIA Chairman Kwon Yong-won bows his head in apology at a press conference at the organization’s headquarters in Yeouido on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

“I was notified by the board that a chairman’s responsibility is too important to be determined by a personal issue and a leadership vacuum is likely to create other problems. They said that it was a responsible choice to first wrap up any existing matters,” he added.

Kwon landed himself in hot water after recordings of his verbal abuse of his driver and employees were leaked to the press.

In the released recordings, Kwon tells the driver to “get prepared (to work late) because (I’m planning) to drink alcohol tonight until 3 a.m.”

When the driver sounds hesitant, explaining that it’s his child’s birthday, Kwon berates him by saying, “You’re dumb not to have told me earlier -- that’s why you are a nobody.”

Kwon took office last year for a three-year term, which will in February 2021.

KOFIA consists of 296 firms dedicated to securities, asset management and financial investment services.

By Jung Min-kyung (