NPS reshuffles alternatives leadership

Korea’s state investment fund's change in management comes more than a month after the departure of three senior executives, including the fund’s head of investment strategy and managing director.

The National Pension Service of Korea (NPS), Korea’s state investment fund, has reshuffled the leadership within its alternatives division and appointed a new head of investment strategy.

According to a company statement issued this week, Young-Sig Yang, who previously led the global alternatives division for NPS, is now the head of investment strategy. He would be assuming the responsibility of strategic asset allocation and environmental, social and corporate governance under this position, as per a report in Korean Investors.

The KRW512 trillion (400 billion; $446 billion) state fund has appointed Sang-Hyun Yoo as the head of its global alternatives division. Yoo previously headed the state fund’s domestic alternatives division. In his new role, he would be overseeing the firm’s international investment strategy across real estate, private equity, infrastructure and hedge funds.

Both executives report to Myoun-wook Kang, the executive fund director and chief investment officer for NPS.

Yoo joined the organization in 2007 from Morgan Stanley Property where he was in charge of the firm’s real estate investments in Korea. Meanwhile Yang has been working with NPS since 2005 and previously also led its domestic alternatives team.

The reason for the rejig – occurring over a month after the departure of three senior executives, including Yoo-pyo Lee, the fund’s head of investment strategy and managing director – was not disclosed.

Among the other key moves announced this week include the appointment of Su-Cheol Lee as the head of domestic alternatives. He was earlier serving as the strategic team leader under the investment strategy division.

According to the 2015 annual report of NPS, alternative investments accounted for 10.7 percent of its asset portfolio last year, equivalent to KRW 54.7 trillion, a substantive 17.2 percent increase from the allocation in 2014. Investment in real estate assets took the biggest share at 38.8 percent. Over the course of 2015, the fund generated a total annual return of 12.3 percent from its alternative investments.