Pacific Star adds Korean pension pro

Kim Ho-Shik, former president of South Korea’s $230bn National Pension Service, has joined the advisory board of the Singapore-based real estate investment firm.

Pacific Star Group, the Singaporian real estate investor, has hired former Korean pension head Kim Ho-Shik to sit on its advisory board and guide the firm as it enters the Korean market.

The hiring is part of Pacific Star’s larger push into Korea. The firm recently opened an office in Seoul which is headed by another former official from the Korean government, Kim Dai-young.

Kim Ho-Shik was president and chief executive officer of South Korea’s $230 billion (€152 billion) National Pension Service until recently. In April, he and the chief information officer were asked to resign as part of changes made by South Korea’s new president Lee Myung-bak. Following the parliamentary victory of the new president’s Grand National Party in April, many ministerial and service sector heads were asked to resign.

Before becoming president of the pension, Kim Ho-Shik was minister for government policy coordination and minister of maritime affairs.

Founded in 2000, Pacific Star has launched several real estate funds in the past two years. In March the firm launched the $800 million GOME Pacstar Fund with GOME Property Investments owned by Chinese businessman Wong Kwong Yu to invest in China. It followed this fund up in October with a €500 million vehicle with an HSH Nordbank subsidiary to acquire prime properties in the Asia Pacific region. Then in December it launched a $400 million Asia Real Estate Prime Development Fund, whose first investment is in Thailand. It also has a $600 million joint-venture fund with Kuwait Finance House and a $500 million Vietnam joint venture fund with Israeli property holding company Alony Hetz.

In March, the firm launched a $2 billion Asia fund for European investors in partnership with German property entrepreneurs Matthias Sturmer and Dirk Grosse-Wordemann.