KIC appoints new CIO

Korea Investment Corporation has appointed Shin-woo Kang as its chief investment officer as the Seoul-based state fund goes through a senior leadership transition.

Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) has appointed Shin-woo Kang as chief investment officer amid the ongoing management shuffle at the Seoul-based sovereign wealth fund.

Kang has officially started his new leadership role today, a KIC spokesperson confirmed with PERE.

Before joining KIC, Kang was the president and chief executive officer of Hanwha Asset Management, a Seoul-based asset manager that was created from the merger of Hanwha Investment Trust Manager and Prudential Asset Management. In the past he also served as chief investment officer of Korea Investment Management.

At KIC, Kang has replaced Heungsik Choo who resigned in February this year along with two other top executives. Choo had been with the state fund since March 2014 and previously served as the head of the Bank of Korea’s reserve management group.

The senior management shakeup at KIC began in early 2015 when Sung-soo Eun was appointed as chief executive officer and chairman. In his inaugural speech Eun, a former executive director of the World Bank, promised a reform agenda for the state fund, and stated that his top priority would be to “build up trust by going through painful restructuring and reform.”

A little over a month later three key executive management members – Young Kim, the chief operating officer; Taeg Ki Hong, the chief risk and compliance officer; and Choo – resigned from their respective positions.

KIC has now filled up all three positions. In May, Seung Je Hong was appointed as the chief risk officer. This was preceded by Young Jun Song coming on board as the compliance officer.

KIC has been seeking to increase its exposure to alternative assets such as real estate and private equity, in line with the allocations made by other global institutions.

In a speech marking KIC’s 10th anniversary in July last year, Hong-chul (Hank) Ahn, the then chief executive officer, said the target allocation for alternative assets was going to be set at 15 percent, a sizeable increase from the 8 percent that was in place at the time.

KIC oversees over $85 billion, with about 4 percent of its total assets allocated to private equity, according to its 2014 annual report.

Earlier this month, KIC partnered with CDC Capital International, an investment arm of France’s La Caisse des Dépôts Group to co-invest up to €500 million in French and Korean companies, as reported by Private Equity International.