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Hanmi Bank parent to buy insurance agencies

Times Staff Writer

The holding company for Hanmi Bank in Los Angeles said Thursday that it would acquire two Garden Grove-based insurance agencies that, like the bank, have a largely Korean American clientele.

Hanmi Financial Corp. didn’t disclose purchase terms for Chun Ha Insurance Services and All World Insurance Services, which sell life, health, commercial, auto and property policies. Ki Hong Park, who founded the brokerages, will stay on as their chief executive.

It’s believed to be the first time a Korean American banking company has acquired a non-bank subsidiary, Hanmi Chief Executive Sung Won Sohn said.

Sohn hopes to “cross-sell” clients multiple financial products, the strategy at former employer Wells Fargo & Co., said FTN Midwest Research analyst Brett Rabatin. Other Korean American banks probably will take a wait-and-see stance toward providing insurance, he said.

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Hanmi shares added 30 cents to $21.60.


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