Wed, Jan 02, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Joseph Lyu tapped to head Mega

BROAD EXPERIENCE Joseph Lyu's strong background with a number of state-owned enterprises including the Bank of Taiwan is said to make him 'quite suited' for the job

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former minister-without-portfolio Joseph Lyu (呂桔誠) is likely to be tapped by the Ministry of Finance to replace outgoing chairman Cheng Shen-chih (鄭深池) at Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控), a DPP official said yesterday.

"With his financial expertise, Lyu is quite suited for the chairman's job," DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday in a telephone interview.

Ker confirmed that Lyu is one of the DPP government's candidates for the post, but he refused to reveal names of other possible candidates.

After Lyu stepped down from his previous post as finance minister in 2006, rumor had it that he would take up an executive post at government-controlled Mega Financial, the nation's third-largest financial service provider by assets. But that never materialized and he quitted his minister-without-portfolio position shortly after.

Currently working as a university professor, Lyu, 52, also served as a board member at Mega Financial in 2004, chairman at the state-owned Bank of Taiwan (台銀), president at Land Bank of Taiwan (土銀) and vice president at the nation's top telecom operator Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) before leaving his executive posts at Taipei-based foreign banks including KBC Bank, BNP Paribas and the Bank of New York Mellon.

Lyu, however, denied that he had been asked to replace Cheng on Monday when Cheng's sudden resignation was made public, his staff was quoted as saying.

Deputy Minister of Finance Liu Teng-cheng (劉燈城) said that Cheng's replacement will be a representative from the ministry, which, as the biggest shareholder, takes up seven seats -- a majority -- of Mega Financial's 13-member board.

The board's remaining six seats are for representatives of the financial company's private shareholders, led by Cheng.

If no replacement is appointed by Jan. 15, when Cheng's resignation takes effect, Mega Financial president Mckinney Tsai (蔡友才) will step in and work as interim chairman, Liu said.

Tsai, who was appointed by the finance ministry, currently doubles as the chairman of subsidiary Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐國際商銀).

Moreover, Tsai and former Mega Financial president Lin Tzong-yeong (林宗勇) were tapped as possible candidates for the chairman's position, local media reported yesterday.

Ker said yesterday that Cheng chose to step down because he felt he wasn't at the helm of Mega Financial as its chairman.

Local media, however, speculated Cheng's resignation had something to do with Cheng's relationship with the Evergreen Group founded by Cheng's father-in-law Chang Jung-fa (張榮發). The group is said to be distancing itself from the DPP administration.

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