State Street to open Jeonju office to strengthen ties with Korea’s NPS

NPS extended its back-office mandate for their global equities portfolio with State Street to also include the middle-office.

By Joe Parsons

State Street has obtained regulatory approval to open a new representative office in Jeonju, home to one of the world’s largest pension funds.

The new office aims to strengthen State Street’s custody relationship with the National Pension Service of Korea (NPS).

“Last year, NPS extended our relationship providing back-office services for their global equities portfolio, as well as expanding our remit by appointing us as their first-ever middle-office provider across all their global investments,” said Ian Martin, head of Asia-Pacific, State Street.

“Given the depth and breadth of this mandate, we believe our new office in Jeonju City will enable us to deliver strategic partnership to NPS through better proximity.”

State Street anticipates signing the lease on its new office in August, and in the meantime, it will start operations in its temporary office located in a co-work space in Jeonju City.

South Korea’s investor base is one of the largest in the region, housing more institutional investors than Hong Kong and Singapore. At the same time, more of these types of firms, including NPS, have been expanding their reach into international capital markets, attracting the intention of global financial institutions to facilitate inbound and outbound investment.

Earlier this year State Street’s asset management arm, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), also entered the Korean market with an office based in Seoul.

BNY Mellon, who was also reportedly planning to open a new office in Jeonju, completed the onboarding of $25 billion of NPS’s assets that would be invested in overseas fixed income markets.

The move by State Street and BNY Mellon will also help it tap deeper into new asset classes and expand the reach of NPS to other international markets.

“This move also strengthens our footprint in Korea, expanding beyond our current asset servicing and global markets capabilities in Seoul,” added Martin. “Jeonju is rapidly establishing its credentials as a major financial centre in Korea and we are pleased to be contributing to the city’s ongoing success.”