Head of Investment Strategy Group at Korea Investment Corporation (KIC), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, recently moved to a foreign investment firm.

Lee Seung-hwan joined U.S.-based Bridge Investment Group as managing director of its New York office, moving from KIC where he served as Head of Investment Strategy Group, sources familiar with the matter said on Apr 14. KIC’s investment management division consists of two groups – Investment Strategy Group and Alternative Investment Group – with each led by a person with a title equivalent to managing director of other investment firms.

Lee had been appointed to his last role at KIC in December last year. In this position, he led five teams – investment strategy, asset allocation, equity, quant, fixed income – that belong to the group. Before that, he served as Head of KIC’s New York office for three years from 2017. KIC has three overseas offices in New York, London and Singapore.

Bridge Investment Group is a privately-held real estate investment management firm with $20 billion in assets under management. It has a focus on investing in multifamily housing properties as well as commercial office assets. The firm runs five offices in major cities of the U.S., including New York, Atlanta and Orlando.

After Lee’s exit, Park Dae-yang, chief investment officer of KIC, concurrently holds the position of Head of Investment Strategy Group on an interim basis. KIC plans to recruit Lee’s successor soon, internally or externally. Apart from Lee, several former senior managers at KIC moved to key positions in the financial and investment industry, apparently in recognition of their expertise from experience of managing the sovereign wealth fund, market observers said.

Kang Shin-woo, former CIO of KIC, was recently appointed as chair of the investment management committee for the Financial Market Stabilization Fund set up by the country’s public and private financial institutions in response to heightened volatility due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Tae H. Park, KIC’s former deputy CIO, moved to Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management earlier this year where he is serving as vice president.

(By reporter Rho Ar-rum)