South Korea’s Military Mutual Aid Association (MMAA) has named Kim Jae-dong as the new chief investment officer of its finance division, effective from April 1.

Kim, former head of the $8.5 billion pension fund’s securities investment department, confirmed to AsianInvestor yesterday that he had been promoted. The appointment followed a public recruitment process.

Kim said the finance division oversaw about $3.5 billion of MMAA’s AUM, with the rest under the construction division. He succeeds Lee Sang-ho, who is leaving the fund, which has 170,000 military veteran members, at the end of his three-year contract. AsianInvestor could not ascertain his next destination.

MMAA split the CIO role in a 2015 reshuffle, with separate CIOs named for the finance division, which comprises the securities and alternative investment departments, and the construction division, which oversees real estate and a special task force.

The appointment of the CIO is for a three-year term and can be renewed for another three years.

Kim said the recruitment process for his successor as securities investment head was already under way, and that the vacancy would be filled internally rather than via a public recruitment process.

Lee had been CIO of the finance division since the reshuffle, having joined MMAA in April 2014 as chief financial officer following a spell as director of financial planning at Shinhan Bank.

Kim joined MMAA in January 2015 from Baring Asset Management in Seoul, where he was head of equity fund management. Before that he worked at Choheung Investment Trust Management and Korea Investment Management.

He told AsianInvestor it was too early to discuss whether he would make any changes to the division’s approach to alternative investment or the split between local and global allocations.

Korea’s YTN Infomax News agency reported that, as of October 2016, MMAA allocated 69% of its AUM to alternatives, including real estate. MMAA has a little over $1 billion in global fixed income funds and emerging-market bonds, and close to $1 billion in Korean equities, according to the article.

Kim Jin-woo, head of alternative investments at MMAA, had also been in the running for the CIO role, reported Naver News, another local outlet. The article said Kim Jae-dong was chosen because of his outstanding achievements over the past two years, without providing specific examples or evidence.

Market professionals told AsianInvestor they expected Kim Jin-woo to continue as head of alternative investments.