The Seoul-based sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corporation’s (KIC) chief investment officer, in addition to two other top executives, have stepped down from their respective positions.
Heungsik Choo, KIC’s chief investment officer; Young Kim, chief operating officer; and Taeg Ki Hong, chief risk and compliance officer, have recently tendered their resignations. A spokesperson for KIC confirmed the news to PERE. KIC declined to comment on the reason behind the trio’s resignations.
The news of the departures comes a little over a month after KIC hired Sung-Soo Eun as its new chief executive officer and chairman, replacing Hong-chul (Hank) Ahn who is understood to have left the sovereign wealth fund in late 2015. Eun, who was previously the executive director of the World Bank, started his role at KIC last month. He was also the deputy minister of international affairs at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance in the Korean government.
Choo joined KIC in March 2014 from the Bank of Korea where he was the head of the reserve management group, a position he served for around three years. Kim, a long serving executive at KIC, became chief operating officer in 2011, and before that was its head of corporate planning and affairs. Hong joined KIC in 2012, and previously had spent most of his career at the Bank of Korea in several senior positions, including head of the reserve management group.
KIC has been seeking to increase its exposure to alternative assets such as real estate and private equity, in line with the allocations made by other global institutions. In a speech marking KIC’s 10th anniversary in July last year, Ahn said the target allocation for alternative assets was going to be set at 15 percent, a sizeable increase from the 8 percent that was in place at the time. The specific allocations for real estate were not disclosed. According to KIC’s 2014 annual report, real estate investments comprised 1.8 percent of its portfolio.