Korean military fund names equity head as financial division CIO

  • 2017-04-11

The Military Mutual Aid Association’s (MMAA) former equity head Jae Dong Kim was installed this month as its first chief investment officer chosen from within the organization, beating its alternative investment head Jin Woo Kim in a two-man race for the job.

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He succeeded Sang-ho Lee who retired from the South Korean military savings fund at the end of March, according to the MMAA.

As the new CIO of the MMAA’s financial division, Kim is in charge of managing stocks, bonds and alternative investments for the next three years which can be extended for a second term. The division manages 3.8 trillion won ($3.3 billion) of the fund’s $9 billion assets under management.  

In 2016, MMAA posted its best investment return of 5.1% since the 2008 global financial crisis, driven by fixed-income portfolios. The figure is above the National Pension Service’s 4.75%.

The equity division, which makes up 12% of the MMAA’s assets, logged a return of 5.0%, led by a rally in Samsung Electronics shares. In comparison, its alternative investment division which represent 19% of assets posted a 4.6% return.

As then the equity head in 2016, Kim zeroed in on Samsung Electronics after buying the stock at the lower end of the one million won range and held onto them, according to Yonhap Infomax. Samsung shares leapt by over 40% last year, outperforming the broader KOSPI stock index.

Before joining the MMAA as equity head in 2015, CIO Kim had led equity investments in Baring Asset Management’s South Korea operations and Korea Investment Management Co. Ltd. He graduated from Seoul National University’s Department of Economics.

Meanwhile, the MMAA’s construction investments, worth 6 trillion won ($5.3 billion), are being headed by In Soo Shin, its construction division CIO.

By Daehun Kim

daepun@hankyung.com

<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>