April 30 - Los Angeles-based BBCN Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: BBCN) has announced that its board of directors unanimously appointed Soo Bong Min, 76, as president and CEO and a director of its wholly owned subsidiary, BBCN Bank. The company also announced the promotions of Chief Operating Officer Bonita I. Lee, 50, and Chief Commercial Banking Officer Kyu S. Kim, 51, to senior executive vice presidents. All three appointments will be effective May 1, 2013.
"Mr. Min is very well recognized in the Korean-American community as a proven banking executive, who was instrumental to the growth and prosperity of both Wilshire Bank and Hanmi Bank," said Kevin S. Kim, chairman and CEO of BBCN Bancorp Inc. "After an intensive process in which both internal and external candidates were evaluated, the board determined that with his 50-plus years of banking experience, Mr. Min would be the best person to lead BBCN forward at this stage of integration and growth.
"In addition, we expect Mr. Min's strong leadership skills will serve to be a tremendous mentoring guide for the future leaders of BBCN. The promotions of Ms. Lee and Ms. Kim to senior executive vice president exemplify the board's recognition and appreciation for their leadership to date. The entire board is confident in the abilities of all three of these executives, and look forward to working closely with them together to create greater value for all of BBCN's stakeholders," said Kim.
Min said, "It is a privilege to have the opportunity to lead the premier Korean-American bank in the nation. BBCN continues to set milestones in the history of Korean-American banking with the transformative merger of equals, followed by strategic acquisitions that strengthen the bank's leadership in targeted markets. The organization has a talented team in place, and I am excited to leverage those talents with my banking experience to further strengthen and build upon the BBCN franchise."
Soo Bong Min is most widely recognized for his leadership as president and CEO of Wilshire Bancorp Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Wilshire State Bank, from 1999 to 2007. During his tenure, Wilshire's asset size increased more than nine-fold to exceed $2 billion, and the company expanded its footprint from Southern California into the Texas, New York and New Jersey markets through strategic acquisitions. On his retirement from Wilshire, Min served as an adviser to the bank through May 31, 2009.
Prior to joining Wilshire, Min served as president and CEO of Hanmi Bank from 1994 to 1999. Most recently from 2011 to 2012, he was president and CEO of United Central Bank in Dallas, Texas. Min began his banking career in 1959 at Commercial Bank of Korea in Seoul, Korea, now a part of Woori Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Woori Financial Group. During a 32-year tenure with the company, he advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities in the bank's offices located in Seoul, Tokyo, Chicago and Los Angeles.
From 1991 to 1994, Min served as president and CEO of Commercial Security of Korea, a wholly owned subsidiary of Commercial Bank of Korea. Min earned his B.A. degree from Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea.
BBCN's board of directors was advised by Chrisman & Company Inc., an executive search consultancy to financial industries.
About BBCN Bancorp Inc.
BBCN Bancorp Inc. is the holding company of BBCN Bank, the largest Korean-American bank in the nation with $5.8 billion in assets as of March 31, 2013. Headquartered in Los Angeles and serving a diverse mix of customers mirroring its communities, BBCN operates 44 branches in California, New York, New Jersey, Washington and Illinois, along with five loan production offices in Seattle, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta and Northern California. BBCN specializes in core business banking products for small and medium-sized businesses, with an emphasis in commercial real estate and business lending, SBA lending and international trade financing. BBCN Bank is a California-chartered bank.