By Yoo Chang-jo
Professor of marketing at Dongguk University
The rapidly evolving landscape of technology-driven finance demands a global perspective and competitive edge. Recognizing the role of financial institutions in this dynamic environment, The Korea Herald's Global Finance Awards, now in its seventh year, continues to honor those at the forefront of innovation and service in the Korean financial sector.
This year’s awards were categorized into the Financier of the Year, Innovator of the Year, sector and industry awards, each highlighting different facets of excellence in finance.
This year's Financier of the Year award was awarded to KB Financial Group. Amid a fluctuating business environment, KB has continued sustainable growth through strategic mergers and acquisitions, digital advancements, and a strong commitment to environmental, social and governance principles.
The Innovator of the Year award was presented to Kakao Bank. Largely buoyed by its robust growth at home, the bank is seeking overseas expansion, becoming the first internet-only bank here to do so.
Sector-specific accolades recognized excellence in various domains. Hana Financial Group was recognized as ESG Innovator, Woori Bank as Global Innovator, JB Financial Group as Digital Innovator and Shinhan Financial Group as IR Innovator.
Industry awards highlighted excellence across various fields: KB Kookmin Bank was named as Bank of the Year, Mirae Asset Securities as Brokerage of the Year, Mirae Asset Global Investments as Asset Manager of the Year and Kyobo Life Insurance as Insurer of the Year.
These recognitions underline the transformative impact of technologies like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and big data in finance, marking a new era of hyperconnectivity and competition. Korean financial institutions are challenged to adopt innovative business models to remain globally competitive, focusing on transactional reliability, security and convenience.
As we celebrate the achievements of the awardees, we also recognize their role in enhancing the global competitiveness of Korea's financial industry, contributing significantly to the nation's economic growth and innovation.