Korea Post names new insurance asset head from within; 3rd replacement in 1 year

  • 2016-07-05

Korea Post has appointed a long-serving senior government official as the new head of its insurance asset investments who will also take a quasi-chief investment officer role for the agency’s insurance business, according to investment banking sources on July 4.

In a regular personnel reshuffle this month, Korea Post named Dokyun Kim, director of the state-run agency’s financial planning division, as director of the postal insurance asset investment division under the postal insurance bureau. Kim, 49, will succeed Sangyeol Shin who has returned to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning that oversees Korea Post.

The replacement of the insurance asset investment head occurs just in nine months and marks a third one over the past year at the postal service agency that manages 110 trillion won ($95 billion) in assets: savings assets of 62.5 trillion won and insurance assets of 47.5 trillion won.

Kim, who graduated from Seoul National University’s department of economics, has little background in financial investment. This replacement reportedly bears no relation to the performance of Kim’s predecessor, Shin.

“Because of the job rotation system for government officials, investment heads at Korea Post have been replaced in about a three-year cycle,” said an investment banking source. “That has been raising a question about their investment expertise, but the cycle of the personnel replacement shortened recently.”

Kim has been in public office after passing a state exam to be senior government officials in 1991. He had worked at the ministries of commerce and science, before serving at the postal service agency since last March. At the science ministry, he was in charge of IT-related projects.

At the Korea Post, the postal insurance bureau chief takes a chief executive officer role similar to other pension funds’ CEOs, while the director of the postal insurance asset investment division virtually serves as the CIO of insurance assets. Korea Post’s insurance bureau started investing in domestic private equity funds two years ago.

Separately, under the postal savings bureau, three directors take charge of asset allocation and short-term money management (postal savings business division), stock and bond investments (securities investment division), and alternative investments such as hedge funds and structured products (alternative investment), respectively. The three directors also take quasi-CIO roles for their respective divisions. The postal savings bureau manages all of its clients’ savings accounts through investments, because it is barred from extending loans, at the request from South Korean banks concerned about competition from Korea Post.

By Donghun Lee

leedh@hankyung.com

<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>