ING Real Estate Investment Management, the real estate investment arm of Dutch insurance group ING, has obtained a licence from the South Korean government to operate locally registered real estate funds in the country.
ING REIM, which has operated an office in the country since 2004, said in an announcement today that the licence would enable the firm to increase its exposure to South Korea both in terms of fund raising and investment capabilities.
Eduard Wehry, Head of Institutional Clients for ING Real Estate Investment Management Asia, said: “Korea is one of the largest real estate markets in Asia and a prime focus for ING Real Estate Investment Management Asia, both from a capital raising and an investment perspective.”
As part of the firm’s expansion plans for the country, ING REIM has appointed Mark Jun as senior vice president – institutional clients Asia. Jun, who was previously head of investment for South Korea is based in Seol and reports to country manager Brian Ahn.
Wehry said: “Mark has agreed to join the client relationship team to help highlight ING Real Estate's global capabilities further to institutional investors in South Korea and promote the opportunities in the South Korean market to international investors.”
Before joining ING REIM four years ago, Jun worked for DB Real Estate and Korea Exchange Bank where he was responsible for real estate investment and investment advisory services.
When approached by PERE about whether these latest developments would precede plans for a South Korean real estate opportunity fund, Wehry said: “ING REIM has already been active in Korea since 2004 and that we continuously look at how we can best create value for our clients, whether through a fund vehicle or otherwise. Launching a new Korea fund might indeed be a possibility going forward, but this does not necessarily have to be an 'opportunity' fund.”