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Korea small business group KBIZ seeks managers for US$300 million global mandate

Korean enterprise
By Hui Ching-hoo   
October 6, 2020

South Korea’s industry group for small businesses is looking for managers for a two-prong US$300 million active global asset allocation mandate.

One part is a $200 million absolute return multi-asset strategy focusing on stocks, bonds and alternatives, including real estate investment trusts, infrastructure and private debt, Hanwha Asset Management, the advisory manager for the Korea Federation of SMEs, or KBIZ, says in a statement. The targeted return is over 4.5% per annum.

The second part is a $100 million traditional strategy focusing primarily on investments in stocks and bonds, with a preferred leverage ratio of no more than 400%, according to the statement posted on the website of the Korea Financial Investment Association on October 1.

Applications are open until October 12, and evaluation and due diligence is scheduled for between October 20 and October 30.

Hanwha will be responsible for the onshore fund set-up, portfolio risk monitoring, and currency hedging.

There are no further details, including the number of managers sought or applicant criteria, and spokespersons for Hanwha and KBIZ did not immediately respond to questions from Asia Asset Management.

It’s not clear whether KBIZ has previously hired external managers for its investments. There is almost no information available in English language about any previous mandates.

The group, established in 1962, aims to protect the rights and interests of around 3.55 million small- and mid-sized enterprises in South Korea.

Seoul-headquartered Hanwha had around $79.2 billion of total assets as of January 2020.