Senior management shuffles at Korea’s KIC

13 January 2014   Category: News, Asia, Korea   By Asia Asset Management

Korea Investment Corporation (KIC), the nation’s sovereign wealth fund with total assets under management of US$64.5 billion, announced the appointment of Hongchul (Hank) Ahn as the chairman of the board of directors and CEO on December 5, 2013.

At his inauguration ceremony, Mr. Ahn said: “KIC should look back and examine whether or not it has lost its own objectives. We should actively participate and do more than just carry out our duties as a public institution.” He also emphasised the importance of investing for the KIC as a sovereign fund.

Previously, Mr. Ahn had been with Macquarie Securities Korea as an adviser from December 2012 until November 2013. From March 2010 to March 2012, he was commissioner of Invest Korea, the country’s national investment promotion agency, with responsibilities for all things pertinent to attracting and retaining foreign direct investments in Korea. He had also served on the board of directors of Shinhan Life Insurance as an independent director from 2010 to 2013. From 2009 to 2010, he was the vice chairman of Pyunghwa Chemical. He also served on the board of directors of ING Life Korea as an independent director from 2009 to 2010. Prior to that, he was the statutory auditor at KIC from 2005 to 2008. In addition, Mr. Ahn worked at the Korean Ministry of Finance and Economy as a senior government official for 21 years. 

CIO resigns

Meanwhile, Dong-ik (Don) Lee, the first Korean CIO of KIC, is believed to have handed in his resignation. According to industry experts, he will remain at the organisation in an advisory position. Ki Hong Li, KIC’s head of investment strategy, will fill the role on a temporary basis. The SWF is expected to begin searching for a replacement imminently.

Mr. Lee was appointed as KIC’s CIO on April 1, 2012. He replaced Scott E Kalb, who retired after completing his three-year post at the SWF. Prior to the CIO appointment, Mr. Lee had been KIC’s managing director and head of private markets group – he had been with the KIC since 2008.

Prior to joining KIC, Mr. Lee spent five years as head of investments at STIC Investments, a private equity/venture capital in Korea, and from 1997 to 2001, he was head of the overseas investments team at Samsung Life Insurance. From 1987 to 1997, he was an emerging equity market analyst at International Finance Corporation (IFC/World Bank) in Washington, D.C.