Taishin Financial Holdings Co (台新金控) confirmed yesterday that its president, Lin Keh-hsiao (林克孝), had died in a hiking accident. He died aged 51 and is survived by two children.
Yesterday morning, rescuers resumed their efforts to locate Lin, who slipped off a cliff during a hiking trip in Yilan County on Wednesday, and found his body in the afternoon, the company said.
Yilan County Fire Bureau said rescuers were trying to move Lin’s body from the valley floor back onto the cliff from which he has fallen so that it could be airlifted down the mountain. Because of heavy rainfall in the mountainous area, the fire bureau said it would send a helicopter to airlift the body today.
Lin was climbing Shusuei Mountain (束穗山) in Nanao Township (南澳) with two friends, revisiting an abandoned tribal trail he had fallen in love with. He had published a book detailing the tribal trail and his love for Aboriginal culture and its legends.
“The company will convene a board meeting to pick Lin’s successor,” Taishin Financial deputy spokesman Bingo Lee said by telephone.
The death would not affect the group’s operations, Lee said.
Taishin Financial shares closed unchanged at NT$13.65 yesterday, compared with the TAIEX’s 1.06 percent decline.
Lin, who had a doctorate in economics from the University of Washington, also taught finance at National Taiwan University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree.
“Lin was an amicable and scholarly boss, who was logically sharp at work, yet poetic in private,” Lee said.
Lin hit the hiking trails as often as possible in his free time, a hobby he developed since childhood. He set up a hiking club in high school and has tamed many rugged mountains over the past decades.
During a recent TV interview, Lin said jokingly he might not find his way home one of these days as his hobby led him to increasingly remote and dangerous destinations.
He spent six years exploring the mountains near Nanao Township, lured by an Aboriginal legend about a brave Atayal (泰雅族) girl who fell to her death in a creek while seeing her mentor off to war during Taiwan’s colonial period. Lin proved the existence of a legendary bell erected in commemoration of the girl named Sayon (沙韻) in his book.
“I swear I’ll finish the path that should have been taken by Sanyo home,” he wrote in the book.
“I started with the intent to find the historic sites, but I met new people and learned to appreciate Aboriginal culture ... The locals consider me half Atayal,” Lin said during a recent TV interview.
Under Lin’s stewardship, Taishin Financial quickly emerged unscathed from the global financial crisis and it is now expanding at home and across the Taiwan Strait, including the acquisition of IBT Asset Management Co (台灣工銀投信) which boosted Taishin Securities Investment Trust Co’s (台新投信) market share from 0.75 percent to 2.88 percent.
It is also seeking strategic partners in China to pave the way for Taishin International Bank’s (台新銀行) expansion across the Taiwan Strait.