LOS ANGELES, April 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hanmi Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: HAFC) (“Hanmi”), the holding company for Hanmi Bank (the “Bank”), today announced that Bonita I. Lee has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer effective May 3, 2019, and as a director of the Company and the Bank effective immediately. Ms. Lee succeeds C. G. Kum who is retiring from Hanmi, as previously announced.
With more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry, Ms. Lee joined Hanmi as Chief Operating Officer in 2013 and was promoted to President in 2018. During her tenure with Hanmi, the Bank’s total assets have nearly doubled. Her deep understanding of the Bank’s business and strong record of success positions her for a smooth transition to the CEO role, and allows Hanmi to execute its strategic initiatives.
“I congratulate Bonnie on her appointment as Hanmi’s next President and Chief Executive Officer,” said Hanmi’s Chairman, Joseph K. Rho. “The Board recognizes Bonnie’s integral role in Hanmi’s success over the last six years and has the utmost confidence in her abilities. We anticipate a seamless transition as Bonnie takes on her new leadership role at Hanmi, building on her deep connections with Hanmi’s customers and employees. She is a seasoned executive and a highly respected leader in the Korean American banking industry. I believe that as CEO, Bonnie will expand upon Hanmi’s distinguished 37-year history of serving our community, while strengthening the Bank’s position in the markets it serves.”
Mr. Rho concluded, “On behalf of my fellow board members, I would also like to extend our deepest gratitude to C. G. Kum for his service to Hanmi. C. G. led the Bank during one of our most transformational periods. We wish him all the best in his retirement from the Bank.” Prior to joining Hanmi and Hanmi Bank in August 2013, Ms. Lee was Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of BBCN Bank and BBCN Bancorp, Inc., where she was named Acting President and Chief Operating Officer from February 2013 to April 2013 and led an Executive Council carrying out the duties of the Chief Executive Officer during a management transition period at BBCN Bank.
Prior to this, Ms. Lee served as director and Regional President of the Western Region for Shinhan Bank America from September 2008 to March 2009. Prior to joining Shinhan Bank America, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer at Nara Bank from April 2005 to September 2008, and as a Member of the Office of the President from March 2006 to September 2008. Ms. Lee also served Nara Bank as Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer from November 2003 to April 2005. Ms. Lee is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Chicago.
About Hanmi Financial Corporation
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Hanmi Financial Corporation owns Hanmi Bank, which serves multi-ethnic communities through its network of 35 full-service branches and 9 loan production offices in California, Texas, Illinois, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, Washington and Georgia. Hanmi Bank specializes in real estate, commercial, SBA and trade finance lending to small and middle market businesses. Additional information is available at www.hanmi.com.