Korea's best bank for digital solutions 2022: KakaoBank
It is said that the true test of leadership is a crisis – and KakaoBank’s top executives were certainly put to the test on several occasions during the awards period.
The biggest challenge stemmed from a fire at a data centre in October, resulting in outages at KakaoTalk, South Korea’s dominant messaging app. This, in turn, accelerated a $50 billion loss in overall market value and added momentum to public campaigns to curb parent company Kakao Corp’s monopoly-like role in the economy.
At Kakao’s mobile-only bank, chief executive Ho-Young Yoon has done his best to keep his head down and continue to move forward with an institution that, until now, has shown the rest of Asia how it’s done.
Kakao’s $2.1 billion IPO in August 2021 put the management team on the clock. Virtually overnight, Korea’s splashiest IPO of the year turned KakaoBank into the nation’s largest financial company by market capitalization – at least for a while. When its shares began trading, its market cap topped W30 trillion ($22 billion), making it the 11th-biggest company in the benchmark index and surpassing the valuations of South Korea’s traditional lenders.