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Mirae Asset to expand presence in Asia: founder says in letter to employees

South Korea’s Mirae Asset will make a foray into the Japanese market by the end of the year, while expanding its business in China and India, its founder said in an email to employees on Monday.

“Demand for global financial products will only continue to grow,” wrote Park Hyeon-joo from New York, on his last leg of a business trip around the world, in his first letter to the employees in two years. 

Park Hyeon-joo, global investment strategy officer and former chairman of the Mirae Asset Financial Group. (Yonhap)
Park Hyeon-joo, global investment strategy officer and former chairman of the Mirae Asset Financial Group. (Yonhap)

After stepping down as chairman of Mirae Asset Financial Group in Korea last year to focus on fostering the group’s global identity, Park became chairman and global investment strategy officer of Mirae Asset Daewoo Hong Kong, a center point of the brokerage’s global operations.

“We will enter the Japanese market this year and expand our business in China and India -- we aim to make products that can compete in the global market,” he added.

Park highlighted Mirae Asset’s success in the global market so far, saying the group’s overseas operations are expected to report a pretax profit of 70 billion won ($61.8 million) for the first quarter of the year.

Regarding his current role, Park said the decision to hand the company’s domestic operations over to Executive Vice Chairman Choi Hyun-man had not been easy, yet he called it the best decision he had made since last year’s acquisition of Global X, a US-based sponsor of exchange-traded funds.

He also mentioned the group’s $1.65 billion project to establish a tech cluster in Pangyo Techno Valley, south of Seoul, as an example of its efforts to contribute to the growth of the domestic market.

The 430,000-square-meter site in what is considered Korea’s Silicon Valley will create new jobs and attract tourists, according to Park.

But he also warned that “a crisis comes with a smiling face,” expressing his concerns about a slowdown looming over the global economy.

“We have been experiencing more than a decade of global bull markets,” Park said.

“However, we must never forget the simple truth that a crisis comes with a smiling face -- always keep your heart warm and your head cool,” he told his employees.

By Jung Min-kyung (