Korea’s sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) has filled the position of group head and managing director for real estate which had remained vacant for more than a year.
Cho Bum-lin, or Thomas Cho, will head up real estate investments as of October 27, a KIC spokesperson confirmed to AsianInvestor.
Based in Seoul, Cho will oversee the existing real estate team as well as work with real estate investment portfolio managers at KIC’s overseas offices in New York, London, Singapore and San Francisco.
Kim Jong-ho, deputy CIO and division head of alternative investment division, had served as the head of the real estate group since October 2021 when the former real estate head, Cha Hoon or Joseph Cha, resigned. He has since joined ADQ, an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund. As head of alternatives, Kim also oversees KIC’s overseas offices
Prior to joining KIC, Cho worked for Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) with a base in Doha from 2014. A QIA spokesperson declined to commment on AsianInvestor’s inquiries about when Cho left the Qatari sovereign wealth fund or who has taken over after him.
Cho also previously worked at Ascendas, now a part of CapitaLand, in Singapore and in Seoul with Mirae Asset Global Investments, then Mirae Asset MAPS.
EXPAND AND MAINTAIN
The appointment of Cho, born in 1978, follows a number of new hires at KIC. In August, Lee Hoon, born in 1969 and former head of investment strategy and innovation division, was promoted to chief investment officer (CIO) for a three-year term.
In July, Kim Jin-tae, 45, was named head of KIC’s private equity group. He was previously head of absolute returns group, now headed by Huh Yoon-hyuk.
KIC is currently expanding its investment team and capabilities, especially in overseas offices as shown by the number of vacancies at KIC. At the same time, the sovereign wealth fund is working on keeping talent within the organisation instead of losing them to privateinvestment firms, sources familiar with the matter told AsianInvestor.
"Since I took office last year, I have focused on strengthening a talent pool at KIC, and as a part of these efforts, KIC has been studying measures to effectively increase the level of compensation,” Jin Seoung-ho, KIC CEO, said at an audit by Korea’s National Assembly on October 19, 2022.