NPS kicks off CIO search process; no strong candidate yet

  • 2018-02-20

The National Pension Service (NPS), the world’s third-largest pension scheme, began the process of searching its new chief investment officer this week, seven months after the former CIO Myoun-wook Kang resigned before his two-year term ended.

A CIO search committee was formed to receive applications from Feb. 19 to March 5, 2018, according to an NPS statement.

Among applicants, the committee will select and recommend one candidate to NPS’ chairman and chief executive officer, Sung-joo Kim.

Kim needs to win approval from Minister of Health and Welfare Neung-hoo Park to appoint the candidate as its eighth CIO.

“We will hire a talent with global capabilities, a sense of responsibility for managing fellow citizens’ retirement savings and high moral standards,” CEO Kim was quoted as saying in the statement.

No strong candidates have yet to emerge for the post which requires at least three-year experience in either asset management or investment business, as well as experience of working as a financial services firm’s senior manager.

As head of the NPS’ Investment Management department, its CIO will manage 615 trillion won ($570 billion) of assets during a two-year term which can be extended by one year.

The CIO selection process began just as the NPS is gearing up to increase socially responsible investment in the country’s public projects and preparing to introduce a Stewardship Code, a set of guidelines for institutional investors’ responsible investing.

Market observers said that the pool of CIO candidates would be limited because of its location, restrictions of post-retirement employment and low pay.

NPS’ CIO is barred from working for a financial services firm for three years after retiring from the pension fund.

Its headquarters moved to Jeonju, North Jeolla province, last year, which accelerated outflows of talented senior investment managers in the past few years.

By Hugh YH Jeong

<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>