NPS appoints new CIO

The former president of BNK Financial Group, Hyo-Joon Ahn, took over the role Monday.

Hyo-Joon Ahn, former president of BNK Financial Group, a Seoul-based financial services provider, has joined the National Pension Service of Korea (NPS) as its new chief investment officer, to oversee its global investment activities, the head of the media team at the Korean pension fund confirmed to PERE sister publication Private Debt Investor Monday.

PDI previously reported the stream of resignations among senior investment officers  at the pension fund,  including that of former CIO Kang Myeon-wook, who resigned in July 2017.

Ahn previously headed NPS’s investment strategy team in 2011 and also led its domestic equity investment team. Ahn’s CIO term lasts for two years, starting today, with an option to extend for a further year, the spokesperson confirmed.

Asked if there are any updates on other vacancies in the pension fund’s investment management team, the media team head told PDI that new CIO, Ahn, will be overseeing the recruiting process.  Jong-hee Kim has had a dual role as head of the domestic equity investment team and domestic fixed income team since July 2017.

During his 18-year career in the asset management and financial services industry, Ahn has served as chief executive officer at Kyobo AXA Investment Managers, a joint venture between Korean insurer, Kyobo Life Insurance, and French insurer AXA’s investment arm, AXA Investment Management.

Prior to his time at NPS between 2011 and 2013, he was with BEA Union Investment Management as a senior portfolio manager. He also spent two years at ANZ Fund Management.

NPS has disclosed that it managed 643.4 trillion won ($567 billion; €493.4 billion) in investible assets as of end-July. The pension fund had invested 10.9 percent of its investment portfolio, or 69.8 trillion won, in alternatives, up by 3 trillion won from 66.8 trillion won at the end of 2017.

NPS ranked 15th in PERE‘s 2017 Global Investor 50, having committed nearly $22 billion to private real estate.

Last week, PERE reported that NPS, along with postal giant Korea Post, had committed to IGIS Asset Management’s 400 billion won ($360 million; 310 million) value-add fundraise, IGIS Strategic Fund I.