South Korea’s private equity firm SKS Private Equity (SKS PE) has created alternative investment division to invest in real assets including real estate and infrastructure.

The PE firm has recently established its alternative investment division and appointed Cha In-hyun as head of the division, sources familiar with the matter said on March 20.

SKS PE only has a rough outline that the division will handle investments in real estates at home and abroad, energy and infrastructure and private debts. Cha will lead recruiting process and setting up the division’s concrete business strategies.

Cha has spent more than 20 years in financial investment industry. Before joining SKS PE, he was responsible for acquisition finance and investments in domestic and overseas infrastructure at Kookmin Bank. He is considered one of the most famous corporate financing professionals in the investment banking space.

Under the latest restructuring, the SKS PE’s formation has changed into three divisions and four partners. When separating from SK Securities in October 2019, SKS PE split its organization into two divisions – strategic investment division and PE investment division.

The strategic investment division focuses on overseas investments, large-sized project deals, and secondary investments. Cho Hyo-sung is leading the division. The PE investment division, led by Kim Byung-soo, focuses on growth capital and buyout deals. By creating the alternative investment division, SKS PE is expected to grow into a comprehensive alternative investment firm which encompasses a wide range of businesses including PE investment, real estate and infrastructure.

In particular, Cha’s strong networks at home and abroad are likely to create synergy with other divisions. SKS PE’s strategic investment division is currently managing a one trillion won corporate partnership fund (Copa fund), which was jointly created by the National Pension Service (NPS) and SK Group. The fund completed its investment in Vietnam’s Vin group last year. As a general partner of the NPS, SKS PE is responsible for deal sourcing together with SK Group, seeking companies and infrastructure with high growth potential in Southeast Asia.

With Cha joining the firm, SKS PE now has four partners. (By Kim Hye-ran)