Magazine article American Banker

Wells' Sohn Aiming to Do Deals as Hanmi's Next CEO

Magazine article American Banker

Wells' Sohn Aiming to Do Deals as Hanmi's Next CEO

Article excerpt

Sung Won Sohn, Wells Fargo Bank's highly regarded chief economist, will leave the bank at yearend to become the president and chief executive of Hanmi Financial Corp., the largest Korean-American bank in Los Angeles.

Hanmi said late last week that Mr. Sohn, an executive vice president and the chief economic officer for the Wells Fargo & Co. unit, will succeed Jae Whan Yoo on Jan. 3.

Mr. Sohn said he had been talking to Hanmi for quite a while.

"They've been after me for 10 years," he said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

During his 18 months at Hanmi, Mr. Yoo has presided over the acquisition and integration of Pacific Union Bank, a $1.1-billion-asset bank that also served southern California's Korean-American community. The purchase, which closed at the end of April, increased Hanmi's assets to $3.1 billion.

Mr. Sohn said the increased size attracted him to the CEO job at Hanmi. The acquisition was a key step in its effort to grow from a community bank to a regional one, he said.

Hanmi will continue to expand beyond its core market of Los Angeles' Asian community, Mr. Sohn said, though his first priority will be to "make sure we have a strong sales and service organization" in its current markets.

It was unclear why Mr. Yoo is leaving. Hanmi did not return calls for comment. A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo & Co., of San Francisco, said it has not made a decision regarding a successor for Mr. Sohn.

Brett Rabatin, an analyst with First Horizon National Corp.'s FTN Midwest Research, said hiring Mr. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.