SOCAR hires former chairman of Asiana to strengthen corporate compliance By Lee Min-hyung SoCar, a Seoul-based car-sharing service operator, has scouted Kim Seung-yoo, former chairman of Hana Financial Group, as a non-executive director and a member of its audit committee. The move is seen as part of the firm's strategy to enhance its corporate compliance ahead of its planned initial public offering as early as the first half of 2022. As Kim has decades of experience in the financial industry, SoCar wants him to take up an advisory role regarding key issues and specifically on how to ensure transparent management and tighten the internal governance system before going public. Kim is one of three new members of SoCar's audit committee along with Central CEO Kang Sang-woo and SG Private Equity CEO Lim Hyeon-seong. Early this month, SoCar completed a procedure to convert all of its convertible preferred stocks and convertible bonds into common stocks. The issuance of CBs, a move aimed at attracting investment worth tens of billions of won, was its response after Tada, a van-hailing service firm, was mired in a controversy as taxi drivers claimed the service is illegal. At the peak of the controversy, the so-called "Tada scandal" also put the brakes on business growth for SoCar, so it chose to issue CBs for a timely capital expansion. The latest decision by SoCar to convert all the CBs and CPs into common stocks could be interpreted by many investors as a gesture to strengthen its governance system ahead of its listing on the main bourse here. SoCar was established in 2011 and launched its service to customers in March 2012. It has so far attracted investment worth over 300 billion won, and has grown to become one of the most influential players in the industry. However, as it requires a complete overhaul of its internal management and compliance systems for the company to successfully go public, Kim is expected to play a pivotal role in helping the company so that it doesn't become engulfed in any governance-related controversies.