BOK names new head of reserve management

The Korean central bank has promoted a 30-year veteran as its new director-general of reserve management. He transfers from head of BOK’s New York office.
BOK names new head of reserve management

Korea’s $355 billion central bank has confirmed the internal appointment of a new director-general of its reserve management group, based in Seoul.

The Bank of Korea has named Chae Sun-Byoung in the role. He is due to take up his position in mid-May on a three-year contract, AsianInvestor can confirm.

Chae is a veteran at the central bank, having worked there for 30 years. He joined in 1981 and has held various positions, including within the investment management, investment strategy and risk management departments.

In the year to March 2012 Chae served as general manager of BOK’s reserve management group, which is effectively a deputy head role reporting to the director-general. In March 2012 he was transferred to the US to become head of the central bank’s New York office. BOK has yet to appoint a replacement for him in that role.

It is understood Chae was one of five finalists for the post, with the recruitment process having taken place over the past two months. BOK’s search committee consists of four external sources and one internal manager.

A spokesman at the central bank tells AsianInvestor that Chae’s international asset management experience and global financial network underpinned his candidacy and eventual selection.

Chae graduated from Seoul National University in 1981 with a BSc in economics, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas in 1986.

Sources on the ground expect Chae to provide strong input into improving BOK’s foreign asset management practices, given his international experience, and to drive internal efficiencies on the back of his extensive experience within different departments at BOK.

Chae himself was still in the US and unavailable for interview at press time. He will transferr to replace Choo Heung Sik, who was hired as chief investment officer of sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) earlier this year, as reported.

Choo’s term as head of reserves management at BOK had been due to end in November this year. Under his tenure the central bank’s reserve management group had expanded its asset class composition, diversifying out of government bonds and into corporate fixed income and equities. His move to KIC provides him with a wider investment scope.

BOK managed $355 billion in foreign exchange reserves as at the end of March, making it the seventh largest central bank in the world.

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