Korean American Banking Veteran to Lead Wells Fargo Outreach To Growing, Dynamic Market of Korean Businesses
LOS ANGELES - Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) said today it has formed a Commercial Banking unit dedicated to the growing and dynamic base of Korean middle market companies in the U.S., many of them concentrated in Southern California. Sungsoo Han, a 22-year veteran of Hamni Bank and Wilshire State Bank, has been appointed senior vice president and senior regional director of Wells Fargo’s Korean Division.
Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Han served as executive vice president and chief lending officer of Wilshire State Bank, with responsibility for all lending, including commercial banking, Small Business Administration, home mortgage, commercial real estate, insurance, and wealth management departments.
“Korean companies are more comfortable doing business with Korean-speaking bankers,” said Han. “Taking a different approach than other major banks, Wells Fargo is investing in local Korean bankers who are fluent in their language but more importantly understand our culture.
Fluent in Korean culture and language, Han and his team will make decisions on a broad array of loans and owner-occupied real estate loans. This new, L.A.-based unit focuses on developing long-term, professional business relationships with both Korean multinational subsidiaries and domestic Korean enterprises. Wells Fargo Commercial Banking lenders are empowered to make decisions regarding pricing and structure as it relates to the individual needs of each business. Wells Fargo offers a wide spectrum of products and services to meet the growing needs of the Korean companies.
“Wells Fargo is very pleased to present Mr. Sungsoo Han and his unit to the Korean community and its key enterprises,” said MaryLou Barreiro, head of Commercial Banking for Wells Fargo in Greater Los Angeles East. “His lending experience and diverse network of business contacts will serve the Korean community and Wells Fargo customers well.”
More than a quarter-million Koreans live in Los Angeles County, with nearly half in the three-mile radius of Koreatown, making it one of highest-density neighborhoods in the United States, according to the Korean American Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles (KACCLA). California is South Korea’s ninth-largest trading partner, while South Korea is the 11th-largest sources of foreign-owned and affiliated companies in Los Angeles County.
"It is critical to understand and be able to speak the language when you reach out to the smaller communities,” said Woo-sung Lim, president of the KACCLA. “Business becomes natural when you understand your customers and your customers understand you. And with Mr. Sungsoo Han on board at the Korean Division of Wells Fargo Commercial Banking, it will definitely help reaching out to huge number of Korean American Business owners"
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 full-time equivalent team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2012 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.
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