Michael Hellbeck is currently the Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank in Germany. Back in 2012, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Standard Chartered Bank and Chairman of the Seoul-based Foreign Bankers Group.
Hellbeck is a connoisseur of French style, elegant and understated wine. He preferred Pouilly Fuisses from standout Burgundy house Louis Latour and the Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa Valley brand Clos du Val, reported by the Korean Times.
As there are complicated distribution structures and heavy taxes for wine in Korea, he shared the good thing about living in Seoul in the late 90s. He could buy top-quality wines in an easier way as his wages were paid in dollars when the value of the local currency was sinking.
According to the Korean Times, other wine-loving bankers included former Korea Exchange Bank CEO Yun Yong-ro, Export-Import Bank of Korea former CEO Kim Yong-hwan and HSBC Korea former CEO Matthew Deakin.
When Hana Financial Group acquired Korea Exchange Bank in 2012, Yun was appointed as the CEO of the bank. Commenting on the transition, he compared the bank to a good wine that will require a long time to peak and need to be decanted carefully.
Kim is well-known for his love towards Chilean vintages. Some suggested his extensive wine knowledge was accumulated during his frequent business trips overseas.
Unlike Yun and Kim, Deakin prefers bubbles over still wine and enjoys champagne.