The National Pension Service has set up a division to fulfill its stewardship responsibilities as South Korea’s largest institutional investor after it adopted the principles in July 2018, a move seen to expand its role in improving corporate governance of 300-odd South Korean companies.
The $567 billion pension scheme promoted its nine-member team of responsible investment to the global responsibility investment and governance division in late December, an NPS spokesman said on Jan. 8.
To engage actively with invested companies, it will increase the number of employees at the division headed by executive Sung-Jae Choi to about 30.
The world’s third-largest pension fund has a stake of more than five percent in about 300 South Korean companies.
It is the single largest shareholder in Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. with a 10.05% stake as of Dec. 4, 2018, according to Samsung’s regulatory filing.
Meanwhile, NPS reshuffled its alternative investment divisions by asset type into private equity, real estate and infrastructure divisions.
Previously, it had divided alternative investment management between domestic and global assets.
Hyung-Don Choe, global alternative investment head, was appointed as private equity head; Hyun-Soo Kim, global real estate team leader, was named as real estate investment head; and Singapore office head Ji-Yeon Kim as head of infrastructure investment division.
Jae-Wook Lee, domestic alternative investment head, moved to the position of New York office head which had been unfilled since July 2018.
NPS posted a negative 0.57% return on 2018 investments through the end of October, dragged by sluggish domestic stock markets which wiped out a 7.57% return from alternative investments, according to NPS’ announcement last month.
By Chang Jae Yoo
<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>
Photo: Getty Images Bank