Korea Investment Corporation has appointed Dae-yang Park as its chief investment officer, according to an announcement by the sovereign wealth fund.
Park joins the South Korean sovereign wealth fund from the Korea Teachers Pension, where he had served as the fund’s chief investment officer since January 2017, with his original two-year term having been extended by one year.
“As a longtime CIO of asset owners, including an insurance company and a pension fund, Mr Park brings not only investment expertise but also leadership and high ethical standards,” said KIC Chairman and chief executive officer Heenam Choi, adding that the new chief investment officer will boost KIC’s effort to become the world’s top sovereign wealth fund.
The veteran fund manager replaces Shinwoo Kang, whose three-year term at KIC ended in June after the sovereign fund recorded a loss on total assets of 3.7 percent last year, down from a 16.4 percent gain in 2017.
Park is the first chief investment officer at Korea Investment Corporation to have also served as a Korean pension fund CIO.
Park Pushes Competitors to the Curb
After KIC initiated the recruitment process in April, Park was selected for his new role after scoring highest on tests and interviews among four shortlisted candidates who included former chief investment officer of Korea’s Government Employees Pension Service, Chang-hoon Lee, according to market sources.
Prior to joining Korea Teachers Pension, Park had served as chief investment officer of Seoul-based Allianz Life Insurance, which is now known as ABL Life Insurance.
The investment veteran, who started his career in 1987 at Samsung Life Insurance, has also served as the investment strategy head of MG Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives, as well as working as a fund manager in the London office of Samsung Life Insurance.
$8.8B in Real Estate and Infrastructure
KIC, which manages an asset portfolio of $131.6 billion on behalf of the finance ministry, the Bank of Korea and public funds for overseas investments, held $8.8 billion in real estate and infrastructure assets last year.
Seven months ago, the sovereign wealth fund sold a London office for £107 million ($130 million) after buying the asset seven years ago for £70 million.
The sale of the 76,418 square foot (7,432 square metre) property at One Bartholomew Lane, across the road from the Bank of England, represented a capital increase of 53 percent on the purchase price in 2012.
The investment in the 1930s building was the first time KIC had invested directly in overseas property markets, instead of investing through a fund. The Korean sovereign fund is reputed to be a frequenti investor in deals managed by Hong Kong’s Gaw Capital Partners, including teaming up with the private equity firm for the $940 million acquisition of Hong Kong’s Intercontinental Hotel in 2015.
South Korea’s European Romance
Despite reports of South Korean investors withdrawing from the London market, investors from the republic have been active in Europe this year.
Just last month, a Mirae Asset Daewoo-fronted consortium acquired the Majunga Tower in Paris for KRW 1.08 trillion ($925 million).
A month before that deal, Mirae Asset Daewoo and NH Investment & Securities teamed up with UK firm Valesco Group and Seoul-based AIP Asset Management to buy an Amazon-leased building in Slovakia for €120 million ($135 million).
In April, Hana snapped up Charlemont Exchange in Dublin from Martlet for €145 million, a 121,270 square foot (11,266 square metre) four-block office complex leased out entirely to WeWork on a 20-year lease since October 2018 at €55 per square foot.
The National Pension Service carved out last year’s largest deal for a London property when it
bought Goldman Sachs’ new European headquarters for £1.2 billion in August.