Programs and Activities

In order to achieve its goal and mission of helping Korea become a premier international financial center for Northeast Asia and upgrade its financial sector and markets, the SFF carries out the following programs and activities.

Breakfast Seminars for Members
<> The Forum conducts one or two breakfast seminars each month primarily for its members. The purpose of the seminars is not only to develop ideas and strategies for the IFC initiative but also to monitor significant developments in both national and international financial markets with either in-house or guest speakers.

The speakers who have participated in these seminars include Professor Ronald McKinnon of Stanford University; Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China; Martin Wolf, Chief Economist at The Financial Times; former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm; and Takumi Shibata, President and CEO of Nomura Asset Management.

The speakers who have participated in these seminars include Professor Ronald McKinnon of Stanford University; Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China; Martin Wolf, Chief Economist at The Financial Times; former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm; and Takumi Shibata, President and CEO of Nomura Asset Management.

Lectures
The SFF presents lectures by inviting prominent scholars or eminent policymakers to address major issues facing Korea and the world.

Those who have spoken in this lecture series include Glenn Hubbard, former Chair of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors and Dean of the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University; Robert Engle, the 2003 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics; Korea’s Prime Ministers; Governors of the Bank of Korea; Deputy Prime Ministers for Economic Affairs; Ministers of Strategy and Finance; Chairmen of the Financial Services Commission; Governors of the Financial Supervisory Service; and Myung-bak Lee and Geun-hye Park while they were running to be their party’s candidate for President during the 2007 and 2012 elections.

Public Seminars
To strengthen public support for Korea’s IFC initiative and disseminate major findings of its research programs, the SFF organizes public seminars. Cases in point are the seminar held in January 2003 to present SFF’s first master plan for Korea to become an IFC in Northeast Asia; the seminar held in September 2008 on “Global Financial Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities for Korea”; the seminar held in November 2009 on “Developing Korea into Asia’s Bond Market Hub”; and the seminar held in October 2010 on “Financial Regulatory Reform for the Success of the Seoul G20 Summit.”

Policy Dialogues
To facilitate and intensify communication between the Forum and important policymakers in the public sector, the Forum conducts policy dialogues with both high- and working-level government policymakers and national legislators. Government officials that have participated in these dialogues include officials from the President’s Office (the Blue House), the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), and the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

Research Projects and Internal Workshops
When important economic and financial policy issues emerge, the Forum presents its position papers and recommendations. To this end, the Forum carries out research projects either by its members or jointly with outside experts. The research findings are reviewed by Forum members before they are made public. The Forum also conducts retreats to review not only important public policy issues but also its own activities. These retreats are usually held at locations away from Seoul.

Major reports published by the Forum through these processes include “Korea as an International Financial Center in Asia: Vision and Strategy” (2002), “Korea as an International Financial Hub: Policy Recommendations for Strengthening and Implementing the Government’s Roadmap” (2004), “London as a Global Financial Center: 2006 SFF London Study Tour Report” (2007), “Korea as an International Financial Center: Policy Recommendations for the Incoming Lee Myung-bak Government” (2008), and “Korea’s New Economic Take-Off Critically Depends on the Financial Reform It Will Implement” (2013).

International Conferences
To obtain support from the international community for Korea’s IFC initiative and gain strategic insights from foreign experts, the Forum organizes international conferences in partnership with major organizations abroad. For example, the conference “Korea’s Future: Asian Financial Center” was held in April 2002 with the Lord Mayor of the City of London as keynote speaker. Another conference, “Surviving the New Age of Financial Globalization: Korea’s Opportunities as and Strategy for a Financial Hub,” was held jointly with the Institute of International Finance (IIF) based in Washington, D.C. in November 2003.

The Forum has also supported international conferences organized by other organizations held in Seoul. These conferences include the FT Asian Financial Center Summit, Terrapinn’s Funds World Korea, and The Economist Bellwether Series: Korea.

International Networking
To network with the international financial community, the Forum actively takes part in various seminars and conferences held outside of Korea. In line with this policy, the Forum’s Chair has taken part in seminars organized by The Chatham House, The Financial Times and The Pacific Pension Institute in the U.S.

In addition, to learn about the financial systems, markets, and regulatory regimes in major global financial centers, the Forum organized study tours to Shanghai in 2003, Hong Kong in 2005, and London in 2006.

Furthermore, the Forum has conducted in-depth discussions with prominent foreign experts and professional groups visiting Korea. Individuals and groups with whom the Forum has exchanged views to date include Janet Yellen, President, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Frederick Ma, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; Alderman Robert Finch, Lord Mayor of the City of London; delegations from the U.S. Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA); and the German Bundestag.