Officials of Mirae Asset Global Investments in global offices pose to mark the 20th anniversary of the company’s going global this year. Photo courtesy of Mirae Asset Global Investments

Korean business bellwether marks 20th anniversary of going global

South Korea’s Mirae Asset Global Investments announced on Jan. 13 that it had achieved notable achievements in marking the 20th anniversary of going global this year.

As of the end of last year, the Seoul-based asset management company boasted of 248 trillion won ($200 billion) in terms of assets under management (AUM).

Among them, some 40 percent, or 103 trillion won ($83 billion), is operated in overseas countries, according to Mirae Asset.

Mirae Asset tapped into the global markets in 2003 for the first time in the Korean asset management industry by setting up an affiliate in Hong Kong.

In particular, the company has chalked up fast growth by focusing on the exchange-traded fund (ETF), which tracks an index as compared to index funds.

They are regarded as low-risk investments thanks to their diversification, affordable management feeds, and high price visibility.

Mirae Asset boosted its market share in the EFT market in 2018 by gobbling up Global X ETFs, a New York-based financial company facilitating access to investment opportunities across the global markets.

Back then, Global X was dubbed as a rising star in the U.S. market with an asset of some 8 trillion won ($6.5 billion). The amount is now 45 trillion won ($36 billion).

In 2011, Mirae Asset gobbled up Horizons ETFs in Canada. Its asset currently stands at 21 trillion won ($17 billion).

Last year, Mirae Asset and Global X acquired ETF Securities operating in Australia with an asset of some 4 trillion won ($3.2 billion). Its name was changed to Global X Australia.

In terms of bottom lines, Mirae Asset racks up a substantial proportion of its profits from overseas businesses.

The firm net 239 billion won ($190 million) in profit last year, and up to 30 percent of them came outside of South Korea.

Mirae Asset said that its founding Chairman Park Hyeon-joo had spearheaded the globalization efforts under the belief, “Even if we cannot succeed, our experiences will benefit our successors.”

Mirae Asset also proactively made a foray into emerging economies, including India and Brazil.

“Over the past two decades, we have expanded our global network. In particular, we managed to purchase a foreign asset management firm from revenues from overseas businesses alone,” Mirae Asset PR Office chief Kim Bum-seok said in a statement.

“We will put forth more efforts to find profitable assets and provide more competitive financial products to our customers.”