Korea Teachers Pension Fund (KTPF) has appointed Park Min Ho as its new chief investment officer, the first time it has filled this role internally.

The KTPF, which managed $11.2 billion as at the end of 2011 by AsianInvestor numbers, has been seeking to fill the position since the end of March, when former CIO Lee Yun Kyu resigned after five years.

Rumours have circulated that Lee is moving on to become the chief executive officer of LS Asset Management later this summer, although AsianInvestor was unable to substantiate these claims by press time.

This CIO search was carried out publicly by KTPF, with one local media organisation reporting that as many as 29 candidates had applied for the post.

The announcement of Park’s appointment was made by KTPF’s president Byun Chang-Yull on Monday, May 20.

Park tells AsianInvestor it is too early to talk about any definitive plans the KTPF might have in terms of future asset allocation.

Nevertheless, he stresses that the pension fund wants to be more proactive and aggressive in its investments given present market conditions both domestically and globally, in particular moving more into alternatives and diversifying its investments globally.

Earlier this year, KTPF had invested $30 million each in US-based private equity firms Hamilton Lane and Paul Capital, as reported by AsianInvestor.

These allocations followed the pension fund's plans to increase its global PE exposure to 15% of its overall private equity portfolio by 2018. It is understood that KTPF has around $600 million invested in private equity as at the end of last year, out of $1.6 billion in alternative investments.

Park becomes the first CIO to be promoted internally at KTPF, having most recently served as head of its investment strategy team. It is understood that KTPF is now seeking a replacement for this role.

Park was commended by Korean government officials in 2011 for his outstanding contribution to the asset management performance of KTPF.

Park graduated from Seoul National University with a degree in economics and started his career in the securities division of Long-Term Credit Bank in 1989. He has since worked for Hana Bank Economic Research Institute and Kyobo Securities before joining KTPF in 2001, working in the pension fund’s risk management and equity investment teams.

AsianInvestor named his predecessor Lee as CIO of the year in 2011 and KTPF as institutional investor of the year in its Korea awards last year. Lee was hired by KTPF in April 2008, having previously worked as vice-chief executive of Dongbu Asset Management. Prior to that he was CIO of Korea Trust Management Company.

KTPF is one of two financial managers set up especially for Korean teachers; the other is Korea Teachers Credit Union. It was established in 1974 to improve the welfare and stable economic lives of Korea’s private school personnel.

Overall there are four Korean public pension entities: KTPF, National Pension Service, Government Employees Pension Service and the Military Mutual Aid Association.