Three Korean pension fund CEOs quit to run in general election

  • 2020-01-16

About halfway through their three-year terms, chief executives of National Pension Service (NPS), Korean Teachers’ Credit Union (KTUC) and Public Officials Benefit Association (POBA) stepped down this month to run in April’s general election.

Their simultaneous resignations occurred abruptly as the three major pension and retirement savings funds in South Korea have yet to find their replacements, according to financial industry sources on Jan. 15.

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CEOs of NPS, KTCU and POBA who resigned this month (from left)

 

NPS’ ex-CEO Sung-joo Kim on Jan. 7 left the world’s third-largest pension fund, 10 months before the end of his term.

The ex-lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party is seeking re-election in his district in Jeonju to which Kim had pushed the relocation of NPS investment management’s headquarters during his 2012-2016 term in parliament.

KTCU’s former CEO Sung-soo Cha stepped down on Jan. 6, after announcing his candidacy for the ruling party’s nomination in a district in Seoul that he had led prior to KTCU.

POBA’s CEO Gyeong-ho Han submitted a resignation on Jan. 15 to run for election in his hometown in South Gyeongsang Province. On the same day, he joined the Democratic Party.

Han, a long-serving public servant, had served as vice-governor of the province.

Han and Cha had led POBA and KTCU since September 2018 and October 2018, respectively.

KTCU had 37 trillion won ($32 billion) in assets at the end of last year, with overseas alternatives accounting for 30% of its 28.1 trillion won investment assets.

By Hyun-il Lee

hiuneal@hankyung.com

<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>