Alex Kim joined Chicago-based Monroe Capital LLC’s newly opened office in Seoul as the private credit boutique’s first managing director and head of Asia.
A Monroe Capital news release Tuesday said South Korea will be the firm’s base for expanding its business in the Asia-Pacific region.
Hong Kong and Singapore have been financial centers of choice for firms looking to build out operations in the region but in a pandemic environment where moving from one country to the next can entail two or three weeks of quarantine, South Korea – where institutional investors have as strong an appetite for alternatives as anywhere in the region – offers advantages, said Mr. Kim, in an interview.
Ted Koenig, president and CEO of Monroe Capital, in the news release, cited growing interest in Monroe’s offerings from Korean and Asia investors and called the opening of the firm’s Korean office “a great opportunity to expand our footprint” in the region.
Mr. Kim comes to Monroe from Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Seoul office, where he served as CEO and managing director of Korea, as well as head of Southeast Asia institutions.
A spokeswoman for Aberdeen Standard Investments said a search is underway to fill those roles.
Monroe Capital has $10.3 billion in assets under management, comprised of “direct lending and opportunistic commingled credit funds, publicly traded and private (business development companies), separately managed accounts, CLOs and SPACs,” the news release said.
The firm’s investor base, meanwhile, spans public and corporate pensions, endowments and foundations, insurance companies, regional banks, family offices and high net worth individuals.
Mr. Kim said the firm, with a handful of institutional clients in the region, is just beginning to build out its Asia-Pacific business, and will be looking to add a few people in coming months to best extend its reach in a challenging operating environment.