Pension Funds

South Korea’s NPS fills CIO vacancy after a year marked by staff exodus

Ahn Hyo-Joon has been named chief investment officer of South Korea's 643 trillion won ($579 billion) National Pension Service, a spokesman for the pension fund giant confirmed.

The appointment filled a vacancy that had stretched for well over a year, a period marked by an exodus of senior investment staff following a government-dictated relocation of the pension giant's staff at the start of 2017 from Seoul to Jeonju, a rural setting roughly three hours from the capital.

Kim Sung-Joo, NPS' chairman and CEO, in a news release said Mr. Ahn's broad experience at home and abroad in stocks, bonds, alternatives and hedge funds made him the candidate of choice in an extensive search process for the CIO position.

In a statement newly posted on the NPS website, Mr. Ahn said NPS' investment team — amid the challenges of limiting the fast-growing pension fund's impact on domestic financial markets while dealing with a low-growth, low-interest-rate environment — will seek to improve investment returns "by proactively seeking new investment opportunities with more diversified portfolios."

Mr. Ahn was president at financial holding company BNK Financial Group. A BNK spokesman couldn't immediately be reached for comment.