A career bureaucrat and former administrator of South Korea’s National Radio Research Agency was appointed as chief investment officer of Korea Post’s savings arm in early July to take charge of $58 billion asset management.
The Ministry of Science and ICT, which oversees Korea Post and the national radio wave research agency, has picked Dae-seon Yoo to succeed Jin-yong Chung who moved to a branch of the national postal service as regional head in January.
Yoo had worked for Korea Post and radio resource management and research institutes which all belong to the science ministry, after passing a national exam to become a senior civil servant in 1991. But he has no asset management background.
The ministry’s labor union criticized the appointment, calling it a parachute appointment. But Korea Post reportedly argued that it does not require financial industry background for CIO because it entrusts most of savings asset management to private management companies.
“Only because it is under the science ministry, someone from above has been sent repeatedly to the position which should be filled by an investment expert,” edaily, a South Korean news outlet, quoted the science ministry’s labor union source as saying on July 16.
A Korea Post source told edaily that Yoo’s appointment as CIO could be seen as job rotation within the same organization because the national radio agencies which the new CIO had a stint in are also under the science ministry’s supervision. He studied political science and diplomacy at Yonsei University in Seoul.
Meanwhile, the insurance bureau of Korea Post, which manages $44 billion of assets, has been led by Hyun-joon Shin, a former regulatory official, since he took office as CIO in August 2017.
Under the job rotation system for government officials, investment heads of Korea Post have been replaced about every three years.
In comparison, Korean Teachers Credit Union and Military Mutual Aid Association selected CIOs from within, whereas Public Officials Benefit Association, Teachers’ Pension and Police Mutual Aid Association hired professional asset managers from outside.
<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>