The word 'Marathon' has its origin with the brisk run a Greek soldier made in the aftermath of a victory against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. The soldier ran roughly 26 miles to Athens to let the citizens know the Persian invader was defeated.

If we are ever looking for a word to describe a prolonged decisionmaking process in the appointment of a CEO, then by the same token, a 'Kookmin' may be no bad choice (see related article below). The final victory of the highly respected Jung-Tae Kim in this incredibly protracted process, has nevertheless encouraged investors nearly as much as military victory did the citizens of Athens.

It's not hard to see why. The decisive Kim, now installed, has taken very little time indeed to name the top management team of the new bank, a very positive sign indeed. 

And this being Korea, eight of the sixteen top management positions announced are individuals with the surname 'Kim'.

Corporate banking will be run by Tai Gon Kim, while retail banking will be headed by Young II Kim; the trust business by Byung Jin Kim; and corporate and financial planning by You Whan Kim. Korea's premier credit card franchise will be headed by Jong In Park, while strategic planning will be run by Young Jo Joo.

Reflecting the significant shareholding of Holland's ING Bank, risk management will be run by Jan Op de Beeck.

All the appointments will be effective as of November 1, 2001. Still to be announced are the positions of private banking head and head of workout business.