Ike Bae replaces Thae Khwarg as Korea CEO at Barings

11 January 2017   Category: News, Asia, Global, Korea, USA   By David Macfarlane

Global asset manager Barings has announced that Ike Bae is to replace Thae Khwarg as its new chief executive officer (CEO) in Korea. Mr. Khwarg retired from the firm in December last year after more than 20 years of service.

Ike Bae

Up until his new appointment, Mr. Bae had led the company’s Korean institutional and mutual funds businesses as head of sales since joining Barings in 2011. Wonil Kim, who was previously the firm’s head of institutional sales in Korea, will succeed Mr. Bae in this role.

Commenting on his new appointment, Mr. Bae, who had stints at Hanwha Securities Company and AllianceBernstein Investment Management (Korea) before joining Barings, says: “I am committed to continuing to expand our market share in existing domestic products, as well as leveraging Barings’ global expertise across traditional and alternative assets, so that we can provide a wider range of investment solutions to our Korean clients.”

Gerry Ng, Barings’ CEO for Asia Pacific ex-Japan, remarks: “With over 25 years of investment experience and expertise, Ike has been instrumental in helping to grow our business in Korea. Korea is a dynamic market and a strategic priority for our Asia business as we look to build out our platform with our newly expanded capabilities and product set. Barings is committed to building lasting partnerships and under Ike’s leadership, I believe that we will continue to provide the quality of service and investment expertise needed to meet the evolving needs of our Korean clients.”

Barings’ Korea business has exhibited steady growth in its AUM, which surpassed 10 trillion won (US$9.5 billion) in December 2016. As of September 30, 2016, the company had $284 billion in AUM globally.

Internal integration

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) successfully completed the integration of its four institutional affiliates – Babson Capital Management (Babson), Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, Wood Creek Capital Management, and Baring Asset Management – on September 12 last year; the combined entity now operates as a unified company under the Barings name.

“This merger marks an exciting moment in our history, and it enhances our ability to provide comprehensive, innovative solutions to help our clients meet their investment objectives,” Tom Finke, chairman and CEO of Barings (who was previously chairman and CEO at Babson) told Asia Asset Management at the time.

He continued: “The new Barings possesses expanded depth and breadth of expertise across the global fixed income, equity, real estate and alternative asset markets. In addition, our integrated global footprint gives us a broader perspective, access to a more diverse set of opportunities and strengthens our ability to invest across global markets.”

On the rebranding exercise, Roger Crandall, chairman, president and CEO at MassMutual, remarked: “We are extremely pleased to reach this important milestone, bringing together our world-class, institutional asset management affiliates into a unified global asset manager and broadening our offerings and commitment to clients around the world. Importantly, the launch of the ‘new’ Barings builds on the distinctive legacies of these four firms and represents an important strategic step forward that further differentiates us in the marketplace. It also positions our asset management operations to continue to succeed and lead in the years ahead.”