摘要：Now, the Korean government is asking AIIB to replace Hong with another Korean and we don't object to it but this time we expect AIIB to apply President Jin's nationality-blind criteria in selecting Hong's replacement. That would be one of the tests it should pass to shake off doubts.
Questions have been raised about the competency of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(AIIB) regarding its handling of its Korean Chief Risk Officer (CRO) HongKy-ttack's long-term leave of absence.
Even considering the regional development bank has just turned six months old,the Hong case takes it back to its formation stage when there were concerns about whether China, which spear headed the AIIB inauguration effort, could run this organization according to global standards despite its lack of experience and its history of a lack of transparency.
The AIIB main office in Beijing has reportedly failed to explain why Hong tooka six-month vacation, except for saying "for personal reasons." CROis one of the five C-level positions taken up by the vice president and together with the chief investment officer (CIO) they regarded as the two most important positions.
The AIIB also failed to reveal whether it would appoint a replacement or wait for Hong to return, another moot point that may force it to revisit the issue of transparency. This also goes against the vow made by its President JinLiqun, who said on its January inauguration that the bank would hire based on one's competency, not by the nationality of the passport he or she holds.
Jin's words were immediately subject to doubt as top posts were apparently allocated among the biggest contributors. Korea was the fifth largest and got the CRO post.
AIIB apparently didn't adhere to its own principle by accepting the Korean government's recommendation for Hong, who just finished his tenure at thestate-run Korea Development Bank (KDB). AIIB didn't even enforce its requirement that Korea should provide multiple candidates as Korea insisted onHong's single candidacy. It was reported that Hong took the KDB job despite his lack of experience allegedly because his close ties to President Park Geun-hye.
Furthermore, it failed to vet Hong adequately because Hong was at the center of a brewing scandal over his handling of Daewoo Ship building and Marine Engineering(DSME), the ship builder that was under KDB control, over the losses soaring to the tune of billions of dollars. The irony was that he took the job as the bank's top manager of risk, the area where he monumentally failed during his KDB stint.
It is true that Hong took his vacation after he blew the whistle on the DSME debacle claiming it was the work of the presidential office and financial authorities by naming the pertinent officials. A rumor had it that after the report he was under government pressure to step down.
Now, the Korean government is asking AIIB to replace Hong with another Korean and we don't object to it but this time we expect AIIB to apply President Jin's nationality-blind criteria in selecting Hong's replacement. That would be one of the tests it should pass to shake off doubts.