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Shinhan Financial Names Suh Jin Won as Bank Unit CEO

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Shinhan Financial Group Co., South Korea’s largest financial company by market value, named its life insurance unit president to head Shinhan Bank, replacing Lee Baek Soon who offered to resign following an indictment.

A committee of three Shinhan Financial directors nominated Suh Jin Won, 59, as chief executive officer of Shinhan Bank, the Seoul-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. Suh will serve as CEO until March 2012, the company said.

The appointment at the banking unit will likely open a management reshuffle at Shinhan Financial and end four months of turmoil surrounding its top management. Shinhan Bank in September asked South Korean prosecutors to investigate former president Shin Sang Hoon for embezzlement and breach of duty.

“The new CEO will swiftly deal with internal confusion and conflicts and take steps to normalize operations,” it said in the statement.

Shinhan Financial fell 1.3 percent to 52,900 won at the 3 p.m. close Seoul of trading. The key Kospi index advanced 0.4 percent.

Shinhan Bank’s Lee yesterday said he would resign to help stabilize the group following the indictment, without providing details. The group’s board named Ryoo Shee Yul as acting CEO on Oct. 30 and formed a committee to find new leaders by March.

Yonhap News reported Lee’s resignation yesterday, saying he and former Shinhan Financial president Shin were both indicted on suspicion of embezzlement.

While denying wrongdoing, Shin resigned earlier this month, and the group’s Chairman Ra Eung Chan stepped down on Oct. 30 after saying he opened accounts with other people’s names in violation of local banking rules.

To contact the reporter on this story: Seonjin Cha in Seoul at scha2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Lagerkranser at lagerkranser@bloomberg.net

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