Mirae Asset Chairman Sets New Milestone in S. Korea’s Financial Landscape
Mirae Asset Chairman Sets New Milestone in S. Korea’s Financial Landscape
  • By Jung Yeon-jin (info@koreaittimes.com)
  • 승인 2015.12.25 11:20
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Park Hyeon-joo, Chairman of Mirae Asset Financial Group.

The marriage between Mirae Asset and KDB Daewoo Securities lays the foundation for Mirae Asset to grow into a global investment bank.

Mirae Asset Securities has been selected as the preferred bidder for KDB Daewoo Securities. If Mirae Asset successfully takes over KDB Daewoo Securities, it will become the country’s largest brokerage by assets, with a combined capital of around 8 trillion won. Thus, many believe that Mirae Asset’s takeover of KDB Daewoo Securities will lay the groundwork for Mirae Asset to evolve into a global investment bank.

When the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB), the largest shareholder of KDB Daewoo Securities, had decided to sell KDB Daewoo Securities last summer, KB Financial Group was viewed as the strongest bidder with deep pockets.

On Christmas Eve, four months after the bidding process kicked off, Mirae Asset Securities led by Chairman Park Hyeon-joo beat KB Financial Group to be named the preferred bidder for the country’s second-largest brokerage by capital. Thus, the leadership of Chairman Park Hyeon-joo, regarded as a legend in the nation’s financial circles, receives renewed attention.

Chairman Park gave up venturing into the online-only banking sector in August and thus had a head start over its rivals in the race to acquire KDB Daewoo Securities. When the financial and ICT industries were engrossed in winning a license to set up an online-only bank, Park’s feisty fighting spirit kicked in.

Park started with Tongyang Securities (currently Yuanta Securities Korea) in 1986 and then took a job at Dongwon Securities (currently Korea Investment & Securities Co.) in 1988. He moved up the corporate ladder so fast: he was promoted to deputy section chief in 45 days and to section chief in one year and one month. He became the youngest branch manager at the age of 32 only four years and six months after he set foot in the securities market.

Right before the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis hit the Korean financial market, Park ditched the title of branch manager and founded Mirae Asset Global Investments with an initial capital of 10 billion won. Though a foreign-invested securities firm offered him a job with a hefty annual salary of one billion won, he turned down the offer and went for running his own business.

In December 1998, in the midst of the Asian financial crisis, Park launched the nation’s first mutual fund, “Park Hyeon Joo Fund #1,” which raised its maximum amount of 50 billion won in just three hours.

Park Hyeon Joo Fund #1 achieved a 100 percent return on investment (ROI) in less than a year. Drawing on the success, Park set up Mirae Asset Securities in 1999. In 2005, Park acquired SK Life Insurance Co. (currently Mirae Asset Life Insurance Co.), thereby turning Mirae Asset into a professional investment group that has both asset management and insurance units.

Backed by the mega success of his first fund, Park launched open-end mutual fund “Mirae Asset Independence Stock Fund” in January 2001 and “Mirae Asset Discovery Fund” (a mutual fund Class A that comes with "front-end load fees") in July of the same year.

Mirae Asset has continued to launch “first-to-market” funds each year. In 2007, Park set another milestone by releasing “Insight Fund.” Insight Fund raised 1.5 trillion on the first day and 4.7 trillion in one month, sparking an investment frenzy in the Korean fund industry.

In 2008, Mirae Asset briefly faltered due to the global financial crisis, but it reorganized its portfolio and managed to ride out the tough times.

Park set up Mirae Asset Global Investments in Hong Kong, a first among Korean asset management companies. When Korean asset management companies were jostling to gain more ground in the domestic market, Park turned to overseas markets.

Mirae Asset Global Investments broke into India in 2006; the US and Brazil in 2008; Canada, Australia and Taiwan in 2011; and Colombia in 2012.

Mirae Asset Securities also has overseas subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Vietnam, China, the US, the UK, Brazil, etc.

Mirae Asset -- which is on course to become the country’s largest brokerage with a combined capital of around 7.8 trillion won -- plans to reach 10 trillion won in combined capital, 1 trillion won in pre-tax profit and a 10 percent pre-tax ROE (return on equity) by 2020.


Park Hyeon-joo’s CV

·Born in 1958, Gwangju, South Korea

·Graduated from Korea University in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration

·Started with Tongyang Securities (currently Yuanta Securities Korea) in 1986

·Became head of Tongyang Securities’ central branch in 1991

·Set up Mirae Asset Venture Investment and Mirae Asset Global Investments in 1997; Mirae Asset Securities in 1999; the Mirae Asset Park Hyeon-joo Foundation and Mirae Asset Global Investments (Hong Kong) in 2003; Mirae Asset Life Insurance in 2005; and Mirae Asset Global Investments (USA) in 2008.

·Acquired leading golf brand Titleist in 2011 and Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) in 2011.

·Carried out Mirae Asset Life Insurance’s IPO in 2015

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