NPS’s global alternatives head resigns

Sang-Hyun Yoo's departure comes amid a wave of resignations at the pension fund and following investigations related to a corruption scandal.

Sang-Hyun Yoo, the head of South Korea’s National Pension Service, has resigned amid the latest wave of key personnel departures in the organisation.

A source at NPS confirmed Yoo’s resignation, but did not provide details about his replacement.

Yoo joined the state fund in 2007 and previously worked at Morgan Stanley Property.  He was promoted to his current role at NPS in July 2016 to oversee the  fund's international investment strategy across real estate, private equity, private debt, infrastructure and hedge funds. Prior to that, he headed NPS's domestic alternatives division.

Over the past year, the pension fund has seen a reshuffle of its senior management. Yoo’s predecessor, Young-Sig Yang, was promoted to head of investment strategy in July last year but resigned shortly after in December. He was then replaced by Lee Su-Cheol, previously head of the domestic alternatives division.

The reshuffle came at a tumultuous time for the pension fund. At the end of last year, the headquarters of the world's third-largest pension fund was raided by prosecutors. The fund’s chairman Moon Hyung-pyo was arrested by a South Korean special prosecution team amid investigations into an influence-peddling scandal involving recently impeached South Korean president Park Geun-hye.

NPS confirmed the information above but declined to comment further.

As a result, NPS executives have been banned from overseas trips and their foreign travel will remain prohibited until the investigations of the special prosecutor’s team end, according to Korea Economic Daily.

At the end of February, NPS will move its headquarters from Seoul to Jeonju, a small provincial city a three-hour drive from Seoul.

Earlier this month, NPS co-invested with Blackstone, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board to acquire US staffing hospital provider Team Health in a deal worth about $6.1 billion. In January the $480 billion pension fund together with sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corporation invested around €360 million in the latest vehicle of pan-European buyout firm BC Partners.


Additional reporting by Carmela Mendoza