Former Allianz Life Korea CEO Lee Myung-jae will take charge of Lotte Insurance later this month. His top priority would be to make the firm turn a profit this year. Photo courtesy of Lotte Insurance

Lee Myung-jae will head non-life insurance firm in Seoul

South Korea’s Lotte Insurance, owned by JKL Partners, has named former Allianz Life Insurance Korea CEO Lee Myung-jae as its new chief executive.

The Seoul-based company held a committee on March 15 to recommend Lee as its new CEO. The decision will go into effect after getting the green light from the shareholders’ meeting later this month.

“New CEO Lee is an insurance expert who worked for global financial group Allianz for 13 years. He headed Allianz Korea three years through 2016,” a Lotte official said.

“Lee is the right person to enhance the corporate value of Lotte Insurance,” the official added. “He will spearhead our new growth down the road.”

Observers point out that Lee successfully led Allianz Life Korea, but he left as Allianz opted to sell its Korean subsidiary to China’s Anbang, now Dajia Insurance Group.

Over the past few years, Lee worked as an equity partner in Yulchon, a full-service corporate law firm in Seoul, taking charge of its mobile and Asian business teams.

The graduate of Yonsei University got his MBA at Syracuse University and studied at Rutgers University School of Law. He is an attorney admitted in New York and New Jersey.

As a non-life insurance company, Lotte Insurance provides a variety of insurance services such as automobile, fire, marine, casualty, and pension, to name but a few.

Korea’s homegrown private equity fund JKL Partners took over Lotte Insurance in October 2019 from Lotte Group. Thereafter, JKL has put forth efforts to restructure the money-losing outfit.

Lotte Insurance, which chalked up more than $60 million losses in 2019, managed to reduce the figure to $18 million last year but failed to turn a profit.

Despite its good performances, Lotte could not turn around last year due to its investments in aircraft and overseas real estate projects conducted under the previous owner of Lotte Group.

Under the stewardship of new CEO Lee, Lotte Insurance strives to rack up an operating profit of more than $100 million this year.

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.