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July 16, 2024

Mirae Asset chief named AIB executive of the year, first feat for Asian financier

PUBLISHED : July 04, 2024 - 17:06

UPDATED : July 04, 2024 - 17:06

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Mirae Asset Financial Group Chairman Park Hyeon-joo delivers his keynote speech at the opening plenary of the 2024 Annual Conference of the Academy of International Business held at a Seoul hotel on Wednesday. (Mirae Asset Financial Group)

Mirae Asset Financial Group Chairman Park Hyeon-joo on Wednesday received the International Executive of the Year Award from the Academy of International Business, a top industrial honor, recognized for his pivotal role in lifting the firm as a global financial service provider.

Park was the first Asian financial figure to receive the award from the AIB, a global association of international business scholars and professionals. Park was the second Korean entrepreneur to have received the award, following SK Group’s late founder Chey Jong-hyun in 1995.

"We now have an established global network spanning 19 countries, and have become a meaningful player in the global financial markets, managing or advising over $600 billion across all strategies," Park said in his keynote speech at the annual AIB gathering held at a Seoul hotel Wednesday.

In the speech, Park reflected on the early days when he launched Mirae Asset Financial Group in 1997 with a capital of $7.2 million. After over two decades, the venture business has grown into a major financial giant in and out of Korea with an equity of around 11 trillion won ($8 billion).

“Reflecting on inspiring global businesses led by adventurous founders in Korea, I found myself pondering, 'Why not in finance?’” he said.

“At times, I was discouraged, but thought that even if we did not achieve as much as we hoped, the next generation of our leaders would be able to achieve (global expansion) one day. So, I decided to pursue overseas expansion aggressively,” he said.

“We now embark on the next 20-year chapter of our global expansion,” Park said. Since 2018, he has spearheaded the firm's global business as its global strategy officer.

Park also stressed the need to widely adopt artificial intelligence in Mirae Asset’s business in response to the evolving market environment.

“Our goal is to implement an organization-wide AI platform, while at the same time remaining committed to ensuring transparent and responsible adoption of this powerful technology,” he said.

“This marks just the starting point for our next major transformation, targeting improved client outcomes at much lower fees.”

When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, he hinted at a more cautious and strategic approach.

“Mirae Asset will introduce more sophisticated AI services in about five years," he said in a press briefing held after the event. "I also think that we would not seek aggressive M&As for some time."

Over the years, Mirae Asset has expanded its business range through a streak of M&A deals, including the takeover of Indian brokerage house Sharekhan Securities, UK-based exchange-traded fund liquidity provider GHCO, Australian AI robo-adviser Stockspot in 2023.

"We believe that a virtuous cycle structure has been created," Park added.

In the meantime, the International Executive of the Year Award is given to individuals who have improved the performance and reputation of their respective firms on the international stage, according to the AIB.

Its previous recipients include: Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever (2023); Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo (2016); Dominic Barton, former global managing partner of McKinsey & Company (2014).

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)

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