Alex Kim joined Chicago-based Monroe Capital LLC’s newly opened office in Seoul as the private credit boutique’s first managing director and head of Asia.
A Monroe Capital news release Tuesday said South Korea will be the firm’s base for expanding its business in the Asia-Pacific region.
Hong Kong and Singapore have been financial centers of choice for firms looking to build out operations in the region but in a pandemic environment where moving from one country to the next can entail weeks in quarantine, South Korea offers advantages since institutional investors there have as strong an appetite for alternatives as anywhere in the region, Mr. Kim said in an interview.
Ted Koenig, president and CEO of Monroe Capital, cited in the news release growing interest in Monroe’s offerings from Korean and Asian investors and called the opening of the firm’s South Korean office “a great opportunity to expand our footprint” in the region.
Mr. Kim comes to Monroe from Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Seoul office, where he served as CEO and managing director of Korea, as well as head of Southeast Asia institutions.
A spokeswoman for Aberdeen Standard Investments said a search is underway to fill those roles.
Monroe Capital has $10.3 billion in assets under management, composed of “direct lending and opportunistic commingled credit funds, publicly traded and private (business development companies), separately managed accounts, CLOs and SPACs,” the news release said.
The firm’s investor base, meanwhile, spans public and corporate pension funds, endowments and foundations, insurance companies, regional banks, family offices and high-net-worth individuals.
Mr. Kim said the firm, with a handful of institutional clients in the region, is just beginning to build out its Asia-Pacific business, and will be looking to add a few people in coming months to best extend its reach in a challenging operating environment.