Prudential Corporation Asia has hired Lee Won-Ki as chief executive of its South Korean fund management business, PCA Investment Trust Management.

Starting on February 1, he will replace Hwang Sung-Ho, who left the firm in mid-2009. Lee will report to Prudential's newly installed Asia CEO of funds, Graham Mason, who joined after the departure of Arne Lindman to Fidelity late last year.

"WK joins our business at a very exciting time with the recent filling of the second tranche of our $100 million QFII [qualified domestic institutional investor] quota," says Mason.

Lee has 25 years' experience in asset management and broking in South Korea and Australia. He was previously CEO at KB Asset Management, where he spent four years. Under his stewardship, KB grew from the sixth biggest fund manager in South Korea (with $12.5 billion in AUM) to the third biggest (with $21.4 billion). He also expanded the business beyond its concentration on fixed income to a wider focus on equities. 

Before joining KB, Lee was head of research and strategist at Merrill Lynch Securities in Seoul, where he led the equity research team. He has also held senior roles at Regent Asset Management and Bankers Trust (in Sydney and South Korea).

PCA has $5.7 billion in assets under management (as at September 30), has a QFII quota of $300 million in South Korea and offers more than 60 public funds -- both offshore and onshore -- in the country.

Lee Won-Ki has left his post as chief executive of KB Asset Management to head Prudential's South Korean fund management business.