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School supplies grads for high finance jobs 2006-08-31Hit:9476

School supplies grads for high finance jobs August 12, 2006 ㅡ Cho Doo-hee was pondering his life beyond work. Ten years ago, the executive director of SC First Bank Korea was typical of bank employees in their 40s mulling retirement. "I was not from one of the top schoolseven graduated from a college outside of Seoul, so my future seemed pretty bleak back then," Mr. Cho said. But his future changed when Mr. Cho, then a researcher of Korea First Banks research center, enrolled in the graduate school of management at Korea Institute of ScienceTechnology (KAIST). He began a masters program, offered as part of Korea First Banks employee retraining program,majored in finance. Soon after earning his degree, U.S. buyout firm New Bridge Capital took over Korea First Bank, which was struggling in the wake of the 1997-98 Asian economic meltdown. Six years later New Bridge sold Korea First Bank to Standard Chartered Bank. During those tumultuous days, Mr. Cho worked in the banks budgetplanning department, considered the brain trust of the bank. While more than a third of his colleagues his age were forced to retire, Mr. Cho was promoted to senior manager in two years. He became a managing director last year,rose to executive director in April of this year. But Mr. Chos success is not unusual among his former classmates at KAIST Graduate School of Management. Graduates of the KAIST MBA program, started in 1996, have become sought-after targets of local financial firms. Besides Mr. Cho, graduates of the first class in 1997 include Kim Sung-won, 43, managing director of KGI Securities Co.; Lee Suk-ki, 41, managing director of Kyobo Life Insurance Co.; Jeon Sang-wook, 40, executive director of Bearing Point Korea; Jang Yong-ho, 40, executive director of Allianz Life InsuranceHeo Pil-seok, 39, executive director of Midas Asset Management. The class of 2000 features Seo Yong-wan, 39-year-old executive director of BNP Paribas. The KAIST MBA graduates form a powerhouse in the local derivative market. More than 100 of the schools 315 graduates so far are now working in derivative operations of major banks, stock brokerage housesother investment firms. In Woori Bank, eight of the banks 30 employees in its derivatives operation are from KAIST MBA. According to the school, 92.1 percent of its graduates got a job in local financal sector, earning average annual pay of about 60 million won ($62,383). The track record of KAIST graduates is not lost among local lenders. Shinhan Bank, Koreas number two lender, plans to hire about 30 graduates of KAIST MBA in its 2007 hiring season. The Industrial Bank of Koreaother major lenders in Korea are also sending recruiters to the school to scout graduates. The reason for their appeal is the rarity of experts majoring in high finance. Many of Koreas top colleges run their own MBA programs, but none offer a finance major, where students learn details of derivative products,day-to-day operation of derivative markets. With demand booming, KAIST recently spun off its MBA programs finance majorestablished a separate KAIST Graduate School of Finance. "Foreign financial companies have increasingly expanded their presence in the Korean marketthe Korean government also has a goal to make Seoul Asias financial hub. But the number of seasoned experts in the financial sector falls short," said Kim Dong-seok, dean of the new KAIST Graduate School of Finance. "Our goal is to nurture a workforce that can immediately operate in the field of high finance." by Choi Joon-ho 기사 URL : http://joongangdaily.joins.com/200608/11/200608112119218909900090509051.html
Contact : Lee, Sohyun ( sohyun.c.lee@kaist.ac.kr )