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Kim was president and CEO of South KoreaÆs $230 billion National Pension Service until early April, when he and NPS CIO Oh Sung-keun were asked to resign.
The two were early victims of a widespread political housecleaning among many Korean institutional investors resulting from the election of Lee Myung-bak as South KoreaÆs president in February. Once LeeÆs Grand National Party subsequently won control of the National Assembly in parliamentary elections in April, ending an eight-year period out of power, the new government required many top institutional bureaucrats to hand in letters of resignation; the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs accepted those of Kim and Oh.
Kim has over 30 years of experience in the South Korean public sector, including having served as minister for government policy coordination and minister of maritime affairs. He is currently executive advisor to Shinyoung, a local real-estate developer.
As part of Pacific StarÆs advisory board, Kim says he will help the firm advise its Korean corporate and sovereign clients on regional real-estate opportunities.
Alfred Lim, Pacific StarÆs chief corporate officer, says the firm hopes Kim will also be able to help it tap Korean institutional interest in its Asian and global real-estate investment strategies.
The firm has also recently opened an office in Seoul, headed by Kim Dai-young, another former government official, who has served as vice minister for construction. The former minister of construction and transportation, Kang Dong-suk, serves as a board director for the Seoul office as well.
Pacific Star was founded in 2001 and manages a number of real-estate funds, including: a $600 million joint-venture fund with Kuwait Finance House; a $650 million fund investing in developments in tier-one Asian cities; a $500 million Vietnam real-estate fund in partnership with Israeli property holding company Alony Hetz; a $1.9 billion, euro-denominated Asian real-estate income fund; and, most recently, a $2 billion umbrella fund for various Asian real-estate opportunities.
Investors still favour private equity assets for their higher growth, better governance structures, and diversification potential.
The recent focus on greenwashing has put bond issues under greater scrutiny. However, some market participants believe this risks paralysis by analysis.
The AU$85 billion ($61.6 billion) Australian super fund has some exposure to indebted property developer Evergrande. Meanwhile, China’s construction finance is part of its core strategy in real estate.
Investors are seeing the risks, but also the opportunities of the logistics sector. Warehousing their fears for the moment, they can see it's a good conduit to high-growth assets.