KB Financial Group’s shareholders approved of Vice Chairman Yang Jong-hee's appointment as the next chairman during a special shareholders' meeting at its headquarters in Seoul on Friday.
The financial group's shareholders overwhelmingly supported Yang's appointment, with 97 percent of votes in favor.
"Despite various challenges in the domestic economy and financial industry, there are high expectations from shareholders for KB Financial Group. I am aware of this and will do my best to meet these expectations," Yang said after his appointment was approved.
He emphasized that he will continue the long-term capital management and shareholder return policies that have been promoted by the board and current Chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo.
Yang is recognized as a strategic leader within KB Financial Group and played a key role in the strategic decision to acquire LIG Insurance. His diverse background in both banking and non-banking sectors makes him a unique and highly regarded candidate.
Yang is poised to assume the position of chairman of KB Financial Group for the next three years, starting from Nov. 21.
The result of the vote came out after National Pension Service, the largest shareholder of KB Financial Group holding an 8.74 percent stake, showed support for Yang by announcing that it had decided to appoint him as its internal director.
Two leading proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis also previously recommended the group to approve of Yang’s appointment to investors.
Yang joined KB Kookmin Bank in 1989 and transitioned to KB Financial Group in 2008. In 2014, he was appointed as the head of strategic planning at KB Financial Group.
During his tenure as CEO of KB Insurance from 2016 to 2020, he significantly elevated the company's standing as a core subsidiary.
Promoted to the position of vice chairman in 2021, Yang has been in charge of overseeing three key business divisions: retail customers, wealth management, and pensions, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.
Born in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, in 1961, Yang graduated from Jeonju High School and later pursued a degree in Korean history at Seoul National University.
The incumbent chairman Yoon, who has led the firm for the last nine years, also expressed support for the upcoming chairman on Friday.
"Nominee Yang Jong-hee is a well-prepared leader with continuity in group strategy and a vision and ability for constant goal pursuit," Yoon said.