Korea’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Appoints Hoon Lee as CIO

By Nick Hedley

The Korea Investment Corporation (KIC), the sovereign wealth fund of the Republic of Korea, has promoted Hoon Lee to chief investment officer, from head of investment strategy and innovation. Lee replaces Park Dae-yang, whose term ended in early August.

“Lee joined KIC in 2014 and has developed the fund’s asset allocation and investment strategies while assets under management more than doubled to $205 billion last year, from $84.7 billion in 2014,” the fund said in a statement.

Before joining the fund, Lee was an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities, Woori Investment & Securities, and Samsung Securities.

Sean K. Lee has taken on the role of head of investment strategy and innovation, in addition to his role of head of the strategy and innovation unit.

Meanwhile, KIC also announced the appointment of Hoseok Jung as chief risk officer. Jung was previously at Bank of Korea, where he led the central bank’s planning and coordination department.

In 2021, KIC delivered an investment return of 9.1%, with its assets exceeding $200 billion for the first time since its establishment in 2005.

Traditional assets generated an annual return of 6.8%, with equities accounting for 40.6% of total assets and fixed income at 34.9%.

Alternative assets increased to 17.5% of KIC’s total portfolio at the end of 2021, from 15.3% a year earlier.

KIC CEO Seoungho Jin said recently the fund will “continue to expand alternative assets to support sustainable long-term performance.”