Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala has recruited rising star Ahn Seung-gu, Korea Investment Corporation's (KIC) senior director for private equity, as it seeks to boost its exposure to developed markets in Asia.
Ahn has risen fast in her career since graduating in economics at Korea University in 2007, working for Morgan Stanley and Tstone Private Equity before joining KIC in 2013. Mubadala has snapped up the Korean as the UAE seeks to expand its interests in the country, targeting the energy sector. In January, the Korean government stated that the UAE planned US$30 billion in investment in Korea, led by Mubadala.
The UAE’s sovereign investor universe has a penchant for Korean talent. ADQ’s Alternative Investments platform, Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG), previously poached KIC’s head of real estate Joseph Cha Hoon in November 2021. Before joining KIC, he had served as a vice president at Carlyle Group from 2007 until 2012 when he joined KIC.
Also this month, Mubadala announced that Dr. Bakheet Al Katheeri, formerly Executive Director and Head of UAE Industries, was appointed CEO of the UAE Investments platform and a member of the Mubadala Investment Committee. The position had been vacant for since Musabbeh Al Kaabi left for ADNOC in December 2022. Al Katheeri was previously CEO of Mubadala Petroleum, also succeeding Musabbeh, before being appointed Head of UAE Industries (one of two main sub-groups along with UAE Clusters) at Mubadala. Ismail Ali Abdulla, CEO of Strata, has also been appointed Head of Clusters, but it is still unclear who will get the position of Head of Industries.
South Korea is a notable target for growth. The country’s tech growth has spurred interest in data centers, venture capital in tech and other sectors in which the economy excels. According to IDC Korea’s “Korea Cloud IT Infrastructure Market Forecast”, the Cloud IT infrastructure market in Korea is expected to reach an average annual growth rate of 15% over the next five years, reaching approximately US$1.86 billion in sales by 2025. The Global Interconnection Index, an annual market study recently published by Equinix, also estimates that Seoul will have the most interconnection bandwidth from hyperscale providers within Asia-Pacific by 2024.