Thae Khwarg, a former head of Barings’ South Korean asset management arm, is highly likely to be named as chief investment officer of the National Pension Service (NPS) this week.
NPS chairman and chief executive Sung-joo Kim recently picked Khwarg, a Harvard Law School J.D., as new CIO of the 630 trillion won ($580 billion) pension scheme among candidates recommended by its CIO search committee, according to financial industry sources on April 24.
Kim is seeking approval from Minister of Health and Welfare Neung-hoo Park to appoint him as head of the NPS’ Investment Management department.
Khwarg had led Baring Asset Management Korea, formerly SEI Asset Korea, as CEO between 1997 and 2016. Barings acquired the South Korea-based asset manager in 2013.
He had co-founded SEI Asset, after working as head of research at Baring Securities Korea and attorney at New York-based Coudert Brothers, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Khwarg, born in 1958, studied history at Columbia University.
For the CIO position, he closely competed with Dong-min Lee, a former Bank of Korea’s chief investment officer for foreign reserves and Young-mok Yoon, ex-head of the NPS’ strategy unit.
The CIO post at the world’s third-largest pension fund has been left vacant for nine months since Myoun-Wook Kang resigned before his two-year term ended.
By Taeho Lee
<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>