TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The SinoPac Financial Holdings board of directors appointed the scholar Chen Shi-kuan (陳思寬) as its chair, marking the first time in Taiwan's history that a woman has held a leadership role at a privately-owned bank.
Chen, a National Taiwan University professor and outgoing president of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER), is a graduate of Yale University with a doctoral degree in economics.
Chen was elected to succeed Philip Ong (翁文祺), the former Chunghwa Post Co. chairman and a man dedicated to corporate governance issues, who will now teach at National Chengchi University's Department of Finance as a professor.
She is in fact no stranger to Taiwan's banking industry, having previously worked as an independent director at DBS Bank Taiwan and Mega Holdings.
Chen's father is Chen Chau-nan (陳昭南), a noted economist and the first Taiwanese to earn a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago.
In addition to picking Chen as its chair, Sinopac also appointed Soochow University President Pan Wei-ta (潘維大) to the board as an independent director. Pan and other newly appointed directors will bring expertise in investment banking, fintech, and law to the boardroom table.
SinoPac is making efforts to transition from a family-run to a family-owned business, recruiting more outsiders to upper-management positions so as to improve the group's corporate governance. It is paying off, as in 2019 the group recorded its highest after-tax revenue in history, with 30% annual gains.