Mirae Asset Daewoo has hired veteran investment banker Park Kwang-chung from Hana Financial Investment in an effort to enhance its merger and acquisition (M&A) advisory team as the Covid-19 pandemic weakens the firm’s other operations.

Park, who led Hana Financial Investment’s investment banking division, has been named as executive director of M&A advisory at the securities firm, industry sources said on Tuesday (November 10).

A former colleague of Mirae’s managing director Lee Taek-jun, who joined from Hana Financial Investment in 2018, Park was involved in several notable deals in his previous position, including MBK Partners’ takeover of Coway in 2012, the sale of Taihan Electric Wire in 2015, and the sale of Hyundai Cement in 2016.

Prior to that he worked at Samil PwC, where he advised Citibank on its takeover of Hanmi Bank in 2004 and LS Mtron on the acquisition of Daesung Electric Co in 2008.

The hiring reflects Mirae Asset Daewoo’s strategic shift toward its M&A advisory business after a weak performance from other teams in its investment banking unit, industry watchers said. It has focused on offshore investment, especially in commercial properties, but the pandemic has adversely affected dealmaking and execution.

Other issues, including an ongoing legal battle with Anbang Insurance on a U.S. hotels deal and weak investor demand for the sale of securities backed by Majunga Tower in Paris – which Mirae Asset Daewoo bought for 1 trillion won ($898 million) in 2019 – have significantly reduced the firm’s flexibility in the allocation of capital.

Earlier this year, Mirae Asset Daewoo restructured the investment banking division to move a large portion of its staff to the wealth management division.

“Mirae Asset Daewoo seemingly recalibrated its focus on M&A advisory services to improve its investment banking performance,” an industry insider said. “Recruiting Park is also part of the effort.” (Reporting by Se-hun Jo)