NPS says CIO offers to step down before his term ends

  • 2017-07-17

National Pension Service’s (NPS) Chief Investment Officer Myoun-Wook Kang tendered his resignation on July 17 seven months before his two-year term ends, dealing a further blow to the $500 billion pension fund which has yet to fill the post of chief executive since ex-chief Hyung-pyo Moon stepped down in February.

NPS said in a statement that Kang submitted his resignation letter for personal reasons and it will be accepted soon. The world’s third-largest pension scheme added that it will form a committee to find his replacement.

Kang’s resignation offer comes less than two weeks after NPS cancelled the appointment of its new global alternative investment head, citing an inaccurate statement of the designated candidate’s work history on his curriculum vitae. The alternatives head-designate failed to satisfy the qualification of having more than 15 years of experience in investment fields.

CIO Kang’s term was supposed to end on February 15, 2018, which could be extended for another year.

Kang is to become the first CIO of the pension fund failing to complete the two-year term.

Market speculation is that Kang must have felt burdened with political circles’ criticism about his management of human resources.

“Political circles have raised issues with Kang’s botched management of human resources,” a source of a South Korean political party told the Korean Investors. “My understanding is that (Kang) offered to resign a day before a parliamentary hearing of welfare minister designate Neung-hoo Park set for July 18.”

The country’s welfare ministry oversees NPS.

Its former CEO and Chairman Moon stepped down after he was indicted for abusing power and making false testimony in connection with a 2015 merger of two Samsung units. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, so was Kang’s predecessor Wan-sun Hong. Their cases are currently under appeal.

NPS’ new CIO needs to be appointed by its CEO.

By Chang Jae Yoo

yoocool@hankyung.com

<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>