The National Agricultural Cooperatives Federation (NACF) officially inaugurated chairman Kim Byung-won in a ceremony on March 14 at the NACF’s main hall in downtown Seoul.
In his inaugural speech, the new chairman stressed communication among employees, reminding the entire NACF that public image that first hits the people when talking about NACF is agriculture, although the organization expanded its operation into various areas including finance such as banking, securities and insurance. He lamented that the passion for farms and farmers is cooling off.
In a move to rekindle that passion among employees, the new chairman went straight to the opening of the Nonghyup Central Ideological Education Institute in Koyang, Gyeonggi Province, near Seoul.
Officials of NACF said the new CEO wants to connect the farms and NACF now that the farmers’ organization has expanded, requiring close communication among the employees.
The idea to set up the education institute came from the new chairman, which is made of a three-month long course to provide various classes on farms and everything related to farming and everyone of the 88,000 employees of 31 affiliates of NACF should enroll at the institute including the NH Investment & Securities Co., which was born after the merger of NH Securities and Woori Investment and Securities. The NH Financial Group took over the investment and securities firm last year, aimed at strengthening its investment banking operation.
The institute, first set up in 1961, went through various name changes until it was reopened with the current name at the instruction of Chairman Kim. Its main job was to educate the men working for NACF and related institutions; to close the gap among them; to truly work for the sake of the agricultural industry; and get along together with the ideas they learned from the institute on upgrading the farms and farmers lives.
“We should share the pains of those who are in the farm industry and be upfront of those who are loved by the farm communities around the country,” said the new NACF chairman.
NACF was established in 1961 with a mission to serve the economic and social welfare of farmers, thereby contributing to the development of Korea’s national economy. NACF is the apex organization of 1,155 primary member cooperatives representing more than 2.4 million member farmers in Korea.
Member farmers are the owners, users and controllers of the agricultural cooperatives in which they are involved. Similarly 1,155 primary cooperatives are the owners of the federation, NACF. Over the past five decades, its financial operations (bank, insurance, securities, capital and futures) have enjoyed substantial growth, leading it to become one of the nation’s largest financial institutions.
On March 2, 2012, NACF physically separated its operations and established the financial holding company (NongHyup Financial Group) and the agricultural holding company (NongHyup Agribusiness Group) through the revised Agricultural Cooperative Law and a resolution by the Board of Directors. NHFG is a financial holding company established and organized under the Financial Holding Companies Act of Korea with its head office in Seoul, Korea. NHFG has been poised to flexibly respond to the ever-changing social, economic and financial environment, while providing quality financial services to its customers through its subsidiaries, including NongHyup Bank, NongHyup Life Insurance, NongHyup Property & Casualty Insurance, NongHyup Investment & Securities, NH-CA Asset Management, NH Capital, NH Investment & Futures and NH Savings Bank.
NHFG is the second largest financial group in Korea in terms of total asset value. As of December 31, 2014, NHFG’s consolidated assets totaled approximately 315.7 trillion won (US287.2 billion) and its consolidated equities amounted to 20.3 trillion won(S$18.5 billion). NHFG has the most balanced business portfolio among all Korean financial groups.