Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra CEO Choe Heung-sik has been recommended as the head of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), an unusual decision that breaks the tradition of tapping veteran bureaucrats for the top post of the country’s financial watchdog.
If President Moon Jae-in accepts the recommendation from the Financial Services Commission (FSC), he will become the first non-bureaucrat to take the helm of the organization with no history in having worked there. Since the FSS became separated from the FSC in 1998, the supervisory agency has been headed by officials who had retired from the FSS or other financial bureaucrats.
On Wednesday, the FSC said it recommended Choe as he fits the position with his ample experience in the financial services industry and in-depth expertise in financial markets. Before the recommendation, Kim Jo-won, former secretary-general of the Board of Audit and Inspection, had been widely rumored to be the next FSS governor. But the decision triggered criticism as Kim had no financial background.
Choe studied business administration at Yonsei University in Korea and earned a Ph.D. degree in management sciences from Université de Lille and Université Paris-Dauphine in France. He served as chief director of the Korea Institute of Finance from 2004-2007 and taught business at Yonsei University. He also served as CEO of Hana Financial Group from 2012-2014 before he was appointed to lead Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in July 2015.
By Han Ye-kyung and Chung Seok-woo
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