The Government Employees Pension Service (GEPS) of South Korea on April 24 appointed Chang-hoon Lee, a former head of US Prudential Financial’s previous investment business in Seoul, as the successor of Young-gwon Choi who recently resigned after a three-year tenure as chief investment officer.
Prior to that, he had worked for Samsung Investment Trust Management (currently, Samsung Asset Management Co. Ltd.) as a senior equity manager; Macquarie-IMM Investment Management as deputy CIO; and Dongwon Investment Trust Management (currently, Korea Investment Management Co. Ltd.) as the top investment manager.
Macquarie-IMM Investment was acquired by Goldman Sachs in 2007. But the US investment bank closed the South Korean operations in 2012 after reporting losses.
Lee, who majored in business administration at Seoul National University, ran his own investment advisory firm between 2012 and 2016.
He will manage 7.5 trillion won ($6.6 billion) in financial assets of the pension fund for South Korean government employees for a two-year term which can be extended by one year.
His predecessor Choi moved to HI Asset Management Co. Ltd. as CEO this month.
GEPS posted a 4.1% return from investments in 2016, a slight increase from the previous year’s 3.9%, boosted by overseas alternative investments and offshore stock portfolios. In comparison, National Pension Service secured a 4.7% return last year.
By December, GEPS will expand and upgrade its alternative investment team to the alternative investment department, and then subdivide it into private equity fund, real estate and special asset management teams, the finance ministry said on March 10 in a statement on the country’s social insurance schemes’ asset management direction.
By Daehun Kim
<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>