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Former Korean minister joins Darby Hana

Ho Shik Kim will advise the Korea Emerging Infrastructure Fund, which the partnership jointly manages.

Ho Shik Kim has joined the board of Darby Hana Infrastructure Fund Management Company, which manages the KRW580 billion ($461 million; €327 million) Korea Emerging Infrastructure Fund.

Including Ho, the board presently has six board members. Ho is responsible for the corporate and investment practices of the fund, according to a statement from Darby Overseas Investments, which holds a 70 percent stake in the management company. Korea’s Hana Financial Group holds the remaining 30 percent.

Kim’s experience in Korea will benefit the company as it looks to steps up the fund’s investment pace, David Hudson, chairman of the Darby Hana board and Darby’s senior managing director for Asia, global infrastructure and Latin America mezzanine, said in a statement from the firm.

Previously, Ho was the president and chief executive officer of the National Pension Service of Korea. Before that, he served as a minister of maritime affairs and fisheries and a minister of the office for government policy coordination in Korea’s office of the prime minister.

The Korea Emerging Infrastructure Fund makes investments in and provides mezzanine loans to sectors such as renewable energy, transportation, environment, logistics, energy and utilities. Currently, the fund has invested KRW279 billion in seven companies. Its most recent acquisition was a 32.4 percent stake in Gangwon Wind Power, the largest wind farm in South Korea, for KRW35 billion

The fund’s previous investments include Daochun Greenwater, a water treatment company; waste treatment companies Energy Network, Myungsung Environment, and ERG Services; and Seoul Beltway, a toll road. Other investments in the pipeline include renewable energy, environment-related and infrastructure projects in the transport sector, the statement noted.

It closed in 2006 with commitments from investors such as the National Pension Service of Korea, Government Employees Pension Corporation of Korea, Korea Post, Korea Life Insurance, National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, Dongbu Insurance and Kumho Life Insurance.

Darby Overseas Investments is the private equity arm of investment manager Franklin Templeton Investments. Last October, the firm closed the $204 million Brazil Mezzanine Infrastructure Fund together with Status Group, a Brazilian private equity manager and adviser. It is presently raising a $200 million infrastructure fund for Mexico, according to data by placement agent Probitas Partners.