South Korean Insurer Sets Up Shop in Hawaii

September 25, 2006

Dongbu Insurance Co. Inc., South Korea’s second-largest insurer, marked its entry into the U.S. market with a reception in Waikiki.

Dongbu, a member of the Dongbu Group conglomerate, is the first foreign company to take advantage of Hawaii’s port of entry law to conduct insurance business in the United States.

“We hope to contribute to Hawaii’s development through our ‘Change & Challenge’ management values, and to have a positive impact in the local economy by creating new job positions,” Kim Soon-hwan, president and CEO of Dongbu Insurance, said last week.

“Hawaii represents a bridge in Korea-U.S. relations due to strong historic, cultural and social ties shared between the two countries,” Kim said. “Hawaii’s role in opening the Pacific Rim and Asia for a thriving business exchange should not be underestimated.”

Dongbu, which has operated in the U.S. territory of Guam since 1984, now offers personal and commercial auto, homeowners, general liability, fire and workers’ compensation insurance in the Hawaii market.

Hawaii Insurance Commissioner J.P. Schmidt announced in January that Dongbu had been certified to operate in the state.

At the time, Schmidt said enabling foreign insurers to enter the marketplace would have a positive effect on Hawaii’s economy by stimulating greater competition and by creating more jobs for supporting businesses.

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