Korea’s largest pension’s chairman resigns
26 February 2013
News, Asia, Korea
By David Macfarlane
The chairman and chief executive officer of Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS), Jun Kwang-woo, tendered his resignation on Friday (February 22). It is not clear yet who will replace him. His decision to step down was in line with the expiration of President Lee Myung-bak’s tenure, which ended on February 24.
Though Dr. Jun’s term was recently extended by one more year until December 2013, he decided to resign before the Park Geun-hye administration took office on February 25, an official source revealed.
Dr. Jun has been at the helm of the NPS – the world’s fourth largest pension fund with assets of about 400 trillion won (US$368 billion) – since December 2009. He was previously the chairman of the Financial Services Commission between 2008 and 2009, steering the financial services industry through the global financial crisis.
Among his other assignments, Dr. Jun had stints as chairman of the board of directors of POSCO and from 2001 to 2004, and was also vice-chairman of Woori Financial Group, Korea’s first and largest financial holding group. Prior to that, he worked for the World Bank for 12 years in various capacities following a professorship at Michigan State University.
Under Dr. Jun’s leadership, the NPS made significant headway in international markets, both in indirect and direct investments. The fund completed several high profile investments, acquiring trophy properties in Australia, United Kingdom and Germany. Moreover, as a testimony to his influence and standing, Dr. Jun was able to push through several important initiatives, such as opening the NPS’s first overseas office in New York.
Separately, Dr. Jun wrote a book entitled ‘Beyond the Crisis’, about Korea’s emergence from the global financial storm of 2008, which was published in 2010.
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