Korea Investment Corporation (KIC), South Korea’s sovereign wealth fund managing $96 billion foreign exchange reserves, has recently named Kang Shin-woo, the former head of Hanwha Asset Management as its new chief investment officer. Mr. Kang, the fifth CIO for the KIC since its inception in 2005, is the first CIO from the local private asset management community. Outgoing Heung-sik Choo will move to Washington D.C. to assume his new job as director of investment management for World Bank (IBRD) from August.
There were also moves in senior-level positions of the National Pension Service, ahead of the relocation of its fund management division office to a provincial city, about three-hour drive from Seoul. Three asset management officials, who directly reported to the CIO of the world’s third-largest pension fund, recently left the NPS: Yoon-pyo Lee, a managing director and head of investment strategy; Young-mok Yoon who oversaw the NPS’ post-investment management; and Jung-su Han who headed the equity risk management team of the risk management center.
On top of the forthcoming relocation of the fund management’s head office to Jeonju, south of Seoul, later this year, market talk is that a conflict with the CIO of the NPS, Myoun-wook Kang who took office last February, prompted their departure. In the personnel reshuffle last March, Mr. Han was relegated to the position of securities risk management team leader from the head of equities management. He was held accountable for poor performance of the equities portfolio. Mr. Han was recently named as the new CIO of South Korea’s Construction Workers Mutual Aid Association, which manages 2.5 trillion won ($2.1 billion) in assets of 4.6 million members engaged in the construction industry.
By Chang Jae Yoo
Editor, the Korean Investors