A Closer Look: Opportunities and Reform in the Korean Stock Market
May 18, 2021 ㅡ Asia Society Korea held a special session of the Monthly Lecture Series on the Korean financial markets. With a clarion call sounding for South Korea to put its equity market and cryptocurrencies in perspective to meet the aspirations of an evolving economy, John Lee, CEO of Meritz Asset Management, offered deep perspective and strategic insights into the challenges and opportunities for the Korean economy — and the key questions that bear upon the future outlook of the nation's financial markets.
Taking us through his journey of over 35 years of investment and financial success starting with the "Korea Fund" in the early 1990s, John Lee touches upon everything from financial literacy and equity culture in Asia to the economic trajectory of South Korea moving forward. The discussion was moderated by Young Joon Kim, Board Member of Asia Society Korea.
About the Guest Speaker
John J. Lee is the CEO of Meritz Asset Management. Prior to Meritz, Lee was a Managing Director and senior portfolio manager at Lazard Asset Management and before that, Managing Director at Scudder Stevens and Clark (later Deutsche Bank) where he managed the "Korea Fund" between 1991 and 2005.
In 2014, John Lee returned to Korea as CEO of Meritz Asset Management and focused on changing Korea’s investment culture. In order to change society’s misconception about finance, John Lee has met with more than 40,000 people through over 1,000 lectures during the past five years. He has also launched “John Lee Lifestyle” on YouTube in order to teach financial literacy and convey his own experience and philosophy to investors in his home country.
Lee is a Certified Public Accountant and worked at KPMG Peat Marwick prior to Scudder. He studied Economics at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea from 1978 to 1980 and received a B.S. in Accounting from New York University in 1985. In 2010, Mr. Lee has published numerous books in Korea titled “Why Equities,” ”Buy Stocks, Buy Future,” “존리의 부자되기 습관” and “존리의 금융문맹 탈출.”
About the Moderator
Young Joon Kim
Young Joon (“YJ”) Kim is a partner in the Seoul Foreign Legal Consultant Office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and a member of the firm’s Project Finance Group. Having joined the firm in 1983, he has previously served in the firm’s offices in New York, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, where he was the managing partner for 1997-2003.
YJ's practice is highly diversified, with a concentration on large-scale, cross-border project financing, aviation finance, and M&A transactions, with a strong focus on transactions involving large Korean corporations and governmental institutions, including particularly Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) such as Export-Import Bank of Korea (K-Exim) and Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-sure).
YJ is listed in Chambers Global as a leading corporate lawyer active in Korea and for asset finance, and was voted by Euromoney International Legal Guide as one of the “Leading Banking/Corporate Lawyers of the World.”
YJ has lectured at conferences addressing the negotiation and documentation of project financing transactions, aviation financings, export credit financings, M&A, and corporate governance. He has helped edit the Korean-language “Project Finance” textbook authored by a senior banker at K-Exim, where he regularly gives seminars for K-Exim’s staff and its customers.
YJ is a member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard Law School Association; the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Asian University for Women Support Foundation (Chittagong, Bangladesh, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA); and a member of the Korean Securities Law Association. He is listed in Chambers Global as a leading corporate lawyer active in Korea and for asset finance, and was voted by Euromoney International Legal Guide as one of the “Leading Banking/Corporate Lawyers of the World.”