Carlyle's Korea head resigns

John Il Kwun has left the global private equity firm reportedly to set up his own fund targeting $1bn.

John Il Kwun, a Seoul-based managing director of The Carlyle Group, has resigned from the global buyout firm. A replacement has not been named.

Kwun was responsible for the firm’s buyout activities in Korea and telecom, media and technology investments in Asia Pacific. Previously, he was an executive director and the head of mergers and acquisitions for North Asia at Goldman Sachs.

He resigned last month to “pursue his personal interest”, a Carlyle spokeswoman said.

Kwun is raising a $1 billion private equity fund with Pyo Moonsoo, the former president of SK Telecom, a Korean mobile phone carrier, sources told Bloomberg. The won-denominated fund will reportedly raise half its capital from local investors and will target medium sized Korean companies. Actium, a company founded by Kwun and Pyo, will manage the fund.

Carlyle’s investments in Korea include commercial bank KorAm Bank, a deal led by Kwun, and Hyundai Communications & Network, a cable multiple systems operator.

In March, Carlyle closed its first MENA-focused fund on $500 million as well as its second mezzanine fund, which raised $553 million.