Manulife Investment Management, part of Canadian insurance giant Manulife, has poached rival Invesco’s head of Korea institutional business, multiple sources have told AsianInvestor.

Kim Hyoung-Nam is set to join Manulife IM soon in a role similar to the one he holds at the US fund house, one well-placed executive said. He is expected to report to Peter Kim, head of institutional business for Asia Pacific ex-Japan.

Manulife IM declined to confirm or comment on the appointment.

Kim Hyoung-Nam

The new hire will work with Peter Lee, who covers alternative investment sales to Asian clients, another source said on condition of anonymity. Lee joined Manulife IM as a managing director last October, according to his LinkedIn page.

Manulife IM has been working to expand its private markets business, which spans private equity and credit, infrastructure, real estate, timber and agriculture, areas where its parent insurer is already invested. The $406 billion asset manager closed a $1.5 billion private equity fund in January this year and launched a secondary investment business last October.

Korea is home to numerous large asset owners with substantial and growing allocations to illiquid investments. They include the National Pension Service, a $630 billion state retirement fund; Korea Investment Corporation, a sovereign wealth fund with $157 billion in assets; and insurance firms such as Samsung Life and Hanwha Life.

Kim Jun-Ku had in the past covered Korean institutional clients at Manulife IM, but left in June last year. He started this month as head of Korea business at fund house American Century Investments (as AsianInvestor exclusively reported he would, back in June).

Prior to that Peter Kim had headed Manulife IM’s Korea institutional business after he was hired into that role in 2012, before he was promoted to head of institutional for North Asia and then to his current post.

In addition, James Chen left his role as head of North Asia ex-Japan and institutional business for Asia in July after around a decade with Manulife IM. He was not directly replaced. 

Kim Hyoung-Nam had been with Invesco for seven years: his regulatory licence started at the US firm in October 2013 and has not yet expired. A spokesman said it was the fund manager’s policy not to comment on individual moves.

Before joining Invesco Kim did a stint at Lombard Odier Investment Managers and ran institutional sales for Korea at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He has also worked for Merrill Lynch and Samsung Asset Management.