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NPS reshuffles key investment posts

Aug. 18, 2011 - 19:31 By
Chairman shows determination to cut collusive links with brokerages

National Pension Service chairman Jun Kwang-woo replaced staff in four key posts responsible for the fund’s investment decisions Thursday, revamping the organization under fire for its staff’s involvement in corruption scandals.

The world’s fourth largest pension fund said it changed its heads of stock and bond management departments, as well as its research head and a manager responsible for entrusting the fund to asset managers.

“The reshuffle was designed to warn those who have been involved in business wrongdoings as criticized by the media,” a NPS official said Thursday.

Fixed Income Investment Department head Yoon Young-mok has moved to oversee the Equity Investment Department. Sohn Seok-geun, the former head of the Equity Outsourcing Team, now leads the fixed income desk. Kim Seong-wook, former head of Research, has moved to the Equity Outsourcing Team. The fund promoted Kim Sang-hoon of research to the team’s top post.

“Workers at NPS, for the large amount of funds it manages, require a high level of business ethics. The reshuffle would have been an alarming call,” the official said.

NPS manages about 323 trillion won and has over 19.23 million subscribers.

The moves came after the agency was found to have bullied brokerages and asset managers and made poor real estate investment decisions.

The Board of Audit and Inspection in July said some NPS officials were found to have given business favors to brokerages with school affiliations in exchange for entertainment and money.

The public agency was found to have given particularly positive feedback to securities firms run by former NPS executives or alumni, entrusting them to run the pension and allowing them to collect more than 47 billion won ($44 million) in commission annually.

In a separate case, two employees of the NPS were charged by police in the past week for buying sex. The police, currently investigating the case, also suspect them of bribing an employee from a securities company who drank with them on Aug. 13.

By Cynthia J. Kim (