By Yoo Chang-jo / Professor of marketing at Dongguk University
The Korea Herald initiated the Global Finance Awards with a belief that the nation needs to improve the competitiveness of the local financial sector and create financial ecosystems that are recognized worldwide to promote its growth momentum in the “fourth industrial revolution.”
The awards, in their fifth year, aim to reward financiers and financial institutions that have not only expanded access to financial services with the latest technology, despite facing strict regulatory measures, but also created a foothold in the global finance market. The goal of the awards is to encourage a spirit of challenge and innovative thinking, and most importantly, to share the winners’ ideas and achievements with the industry.
With that in mind, The Korea Herald invited applications for financier and innovator of the year in five categories: banking, brokerage, insurance, credit card and asset management. An expert committee comprising academics, journalists and finance professionals has reviewed applications, looking at their efforts to expedite innovation, deepen global connectivity and take on greater corporate responsibility to contribute to society.
Our awards go to: KB Financial Group Chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo for financier of the year; Kakao Bank CEO Yun Ho-young for innovator of the year; Shinhan Financial Group for its ESG drive; Woori Bank for green finance; Mirae Asset Global Investments for global pioneer; Mirae Asset Securities for brokerage of the year; Kyobo Life Insurance for insurer of the year; Citibank Korea for social contribution.
In particular, The Korea Herald recognizes KB Financial Group Chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo, who led the campaign to solidify the practice of encouraging investors to look at environmental, social and governance factors. Yoon also had his company recognized by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) that defines best practices in combating climate change -- a first for a Korean financial services company.
Meanwhile, Kakao Bank CEO Yun Ho-young has reshaped lending practices as the digital lender seeks a paradigm shift in traditional banking.
Businesses face a growing role to highlight ESG factors, which eventually advance their profits by raising awareness of sustainable business models, inviting responsible investment and increasing cash flows. Hence financial institutions should make investments in companies demonstrating sustainable business models and innovation -- a practice that will establish an ecosystem inducing a virtuous circle of capital flows. All financial companies need to blaze new trails through innovation because they struggle with uncertainty over what they are good at now and what they should be good at tomorrow.
I hereby offer my sincere congratulations to this year’s awardees and hope that they all apply themselves even more to expand responsible investment. That will ensure the competitiveness of our local firms and build the sought-after financial ecosystems.
By Korea Herald (email@example.com