Ex-NPS global alternatives chief joins Korean law firm

Sang-Hyun Yoo, who resigned from the pension in February, has been replaced by the former alternatives head of Meritz Asset Management.

Sang-Hyun Yoo has joined Kim & Chang, one of Korea’s major law firms, as an expert advisor to its investment management and private equity practices. 

The former head of global alternatives at National Pension Service of Korea resigned in February, amid a wave of key personnel departures early this year, after spending 12 years at the institution. Prior to becoming the fund’s global alternative investment head in July last year, he was leading the domestic alternatives division. 

Kim & Chang confirmed Yoo’s appointment, which became effective this April. The Seoul-based company bills itself as the country’s largest law firm, with over 1,300 professionals from Korea, China, Europe and the US. 

Its investment management practice provides legal services for the placement and management of funds, including advice on regulatory matters, overseas indirect investment, alternative investment, offshore and domestic fund formation and dispute matters related to indirect investment. The private equity practice advises on M&A, fund formation and investment transactions. 

NPS appointed Jang Sae Kim, former alternative investment head of Korea’s Meritz Asset Management, as its new global alternatives head late last month. The pension fund is also hiring for its three overseas outposts in New York, London and Singapore, in a bid to expand its investment capabilities in real estate, infrastructure and private equity.

According to NPS’s latest annual report, the fund’s allocation to alternative investments, including real estate, private equity, infrastructure and hedge funds, had grown to 11.4 percent of its 558.3 trillion won ($495 billion; €441 billion) assets under management, as of December 2016, from 0.5 percent in 2005.