Samsung SRA Asset Management Co. has named its former managing director (MD) and chief investment officer Chung-Keun Kim as its new chief executive, the real estate investment manager said on Jan. 3.
The new CEO appointment is seen as unconventional for the South Korean real estate firm as Kim built most of his career outside of Samsung. Samsung SRA, wholly owned by Samsung Life Insurance Co., has traditionally picked executives from the Korean insurer or its affiliate Samsung Asset Management Co.
Born in 1972, Kim joined Samsung SRA in November of 2019 as CIO. He ironed out Samsung Life Insurance’s agreement to buy a 25% stake in Savills Investment Management for £63.8 million ($86 million) from UK-based real estate advisor Savills Plc. in May of 2021.
Before joining the firm, Kim worked for Korea Investment Corporation, South Korea's sovereign wealth fund, for nine years leading real estate and private equity deals. He also founded KIC’s first dedicated infrastructure team as the team head.
Prior to that, Kim led the global real estate acquisition team at Mirae Asset Global Investment Co. from 2007 to 2010. He also worked at Asia Pacific Land, a north east asia focused real estate private equity firm, Savills, a real estate service provider and Citibank Seoul.
Samsung SRA’s former CEO Bumchul Lim led the firm from early 2020 to December 2021. Born in 1962, Lim started his career at Samsung Group in 1987 and developed most of his career at Samsung Insurance.
Samsung Asset Management, another 100% subsidiary under Samsung Insurance, broke its traditional hiring practices as well last month. It previously nominated Samsung Insurance's executives as its CEOs.
In December of 2021, Samsung Asset Management named Bong-kyun Seo as its new CEO. Before he served as Samsung Securities Sales & Trading Division head between 2020 and 2021, Seo built most of his career at global securities firms and investment banks. Born in 1967, he previously worked for Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Securities Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Seo served as a head of equity at Goldman Sachs Seoul office, where he worked for 15 years.