NPS completes final piece for its senior executives

South Korea’s largest public pension fund has appointed its Head of Investment Operation as Managing Director of Investment Operations, IT & External Affairs, filling all three managing director positions newly created after its organizational changes earlier this year.

National Pension Service (NPS) has recently named Lee Mal-yong, formerly the fund’s Head of Investment Operation, as Managing Director of Investment Operations, IT & External Affairs, one of the three new roles created as part of the pension fund’s efforts to improve organizational efficiency, sources close to the matter said on Tuesday.

Lee was finally selected to serve the role through an open recruiting process that began in February. The role is treated as equivalent to principal fund manager, with an initial contract period of two years, while afterward the contract can be extended on a yearly basis based on performance results.

The role oversees matters related to the pension fund’s organization and staff as well as administrative affairs. Its job description includes doing strategic planning, handling matters related to the fund’s organization and the management by objectives (MBO), training investment professionals, handling external affairs concerning the fund, and so on.

NPS created three managing director positions – each for Investment Strategy and Responsible Investment & Corporate Governance; Risk Management and Legal; and Investment Operations, IT & External Affairs – earlier this year after revising its operational rules last December. The move was part of the fund’s years-long efforts to increase management efficiency amid its growing assets and a strong need for diversifying its investment portfolio.

The revised NPS operational rules specify that each managing director serves a role of assisting the fund’s Executive Fund Director & Chief Investment Officer, currently held by Ahn Hyo-joon, whom they report to. Organizational changes to create such roles are intended to lessen the heavy workload on the fund’s CIO and thereby help the CIO focus on the role’s main mission related to investment activity.

Earlier this year, the pension fund promoted its head of investment strategy, Park Seong-tae, to Managing Director of Investment Strategy and Responsible Investment & Corporate Governance, and Kim Jong-hee, formerly its head of risk management center, to Managing Director of Risk Management and Legal, respectively. The appointment of Lee as Managing Director of Investment Operations, IT & External Affairs completed the final piece of the puzzle to reshape the fund’s top ranks. (By reporter Han Hee-yeon)