Yoo Myungsoon is among the most prominent bankers in corporate finance in Korea. She heads Citi’s institutional clients group, including corporate banking, client coverage and product development for public institutions, financial institutions, multinationals, and major Korean companies.
She was appointed to the position in June after an interlude at JP Morgan, where she worked for one year following a 23-year career at Citi.
From branch manager she worked her way to corporate banking, with 10 years in risk management as well.
Initially she only covered multinationals and the job at JP Morgan allowed her to look after the entirety of the institutional client base. But a restructuring at Citi saw long-time colleague and ally Park Jinhei become Citi’s new Korea CEO and he wanted to bring Yoo back in an expanded role.
Her remit is to bring innovation and a breath of fresh air, with a complete view of risk, product, coverage, and execution. Banking in Korea, like in many developed countries, faces headwinds around cost cuts and low interest rates, and Citi wanted an experienced pair of hands to help it and its corporate and public clients.
Korea is notorious for its male-dominated workplaces and Yoo credits Citi for helping her to advance without prejudice. The atmosphere of equal opportunity gave Yoo a sense of confidence she probably wouldn’t have felt had she worked at a domestic institution.
Indeed, the very manner in which domestic banks forwarded candidates to FinanceAsia for this project was dispiriting in how they were presented — we felt a sense of tokenism rather than one of individual accomplishment. Korea has a lot of work to do.
But having Park Geunhye as the nation’s president has also made for a powerful symbol, and Yoo is confident the next generation of women bankers will have access to the top roles.