Hanmi looking for new CEO after leader sets retirement date

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Hanmi Financial in Los Angeles is looking for a new CEO.

The $5.3 billion-asset company said in a press release late Friday that C.G. Kum will retire in May. Hanmi said that Bonnie Lee, its chief operating officer, had been named president to “help facilitate a smooth transition.”

The board has begun an executive search to identify Kim’s successor that will involve internal and external candidates.

Kum, who was 63 when the company filed its proxy statement in March, has been Hanmi’s president and CEO since June 2013. He previously served as president and CEO of First California Financial Group.

Kum and Lee “have been integral in driving the bank’s transformation over the past five years, including improving its financial performance and broadening our customer base to serve immigrant communities beyond our core Korean-American market,” Joseph Rho, the company’s chairman, said in the release.

“My decision to retire … has not been an easy one, but after careful consideration, I believe it is the right time for me to make this change,” Kum said. “I am proud of what our management team has been able to accomplish over the past five years and am confident in the strong condition of the bank, which will continue to be supported by our strategic plan.”

Lee, 55, joined Hanmi in 2013. She previously served as chief operating officer of BBCN Bancorp, where she was also acting president for two months in early 2013.

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