Korea’s GEPS appoints new CIO

The pension fund has appointed a new head after his predecessor completed a three-year contract.

South Korea’s Government Employees Pension Service has named Chang-hoon Lee, a former head of Prudential Asset Management in Seoul, to serve as its chief investment officer.

Prior to joining GEPS, Lee had served as the chief executive officer and chief investment officer at Prudential Asset Management Company in Korea between 2005 and 2010. Before that, he held senior investment roles at Samsung Investment Trust Management, Macquarie-IMM Investment Management and Dongwon Investment Trust Management (currently, Korea Investment Management Company), according to a GEPS statement.

After leaving Prudential, Lee ran his own investment advisory firm between 2012 and 2016.

In his new role, Lee will oversee the fund management of public pension funds such as stocks, bonds, and alternative investments. He will be in the role for a minimum of two years and the contract can be extended on a yearly basis depending on performance.

Lee’s predecessor, Young Gwon Choi, has reportedly joined Korea’s HI Asset Management Company as chief executive officer this month after the end of a three-year contract as CIO at GEPS.

The $6 billion fund invested $765 million in alternatives as of the end of November 2016, which is set to increase to $1.56 billion by the end-2020, according to local media reports.

In June last year, GEPS reportedly committed $50 million each to Blackstone and Pomona Capital’s global secondaries funds.

GEPS is also one of the earliest Korean investors to enter the private debt market. Last month, it selected Apollo Global Management and Cerberus Capital Management to manage its $160 million allocation to private debt funds. In 2016, it committed a total of $100 million to New York-headquartered firm HPS Investment Partners and Los Angeles-based investment firm Crescent Capital Group, according to PEI data.