Class of 2017 Forty Under Forty

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Yup Kim Senior Portfolio Manager, Special Opportunities, Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation
(Juneau, AK) 32
Yup Kim
(Art by Marcellus Hall)

Yup has become the go-to resource for tackling APFC’s most challenging and yet compelling project investment opportunities over three continents. He demonstrates a natural affinity both towards developing new private market investment opportunities and also ensuring their timely, thorough, and effective evaluation and investment.

How have you been a change agent at your organization? What have you done that you’re particularly proud of?

Capital remains abundant for the world’s most promising companies and investors. As such, we’re most proud of continually leveraging our differentiation of scale, flexibility, and stability to generate a strong pipeline of opportunities.

What is the asset class or investment that keeps you up at night, and why?

Our biotech, consumer internet, and enterprise IT venture deals; while these investments offer attractive, idiosyncratic returns to our well-diversified $59 billion fund, each deal’s wider dispersion of outcomes and periodic volatility can cause concern.

What methodologies have you adopted within your institution?

We sit far from the epicenters of deal flow. As a result, we’ve strengthened our focus to leverage technology, industry conferences, and strategic relationships to cast a wider net on relevant, high-conviction opportunities.

Where do you fall in the passive vs. active debate?

As a private investor, I naturally lean towards active, catalyst-driven alpha. Active management and transformational operating intervention should outperform in today’s world of low rates, high asset prices, and geopolitical uncertainty.

What are the changes you’d like to see the institutional investing community make in 10 years?

Increased collaboration across institutional investors, continued leadership in the adoption of measures to augment global sustainability, productivity and societal equity, and the integration of digital platforms and artificial intelligence to extend organizational capabilities while reducing operating costs and reliance on external parties.

Who is a manager you don’t currently work with whose brain you’d like to pick?

Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of ­Softbank­.

Ideally, where would that meeting take place?

On a fishing boat in beautiful Alaska, to discuss his vision of the future. Hopefully, it’s a world free of cancer, global warming, parking lots, and widening inequality, in all forms.

What is the software investment tool that helps you most?

Bloomberg continues to monopolize an entire monitor. Being a generalist, quick access to a wide array of research helps me understand the critical themes, major ­players (potential acquirers), and competitive dynamics across sectors.

What would improve the relationship between you and managers?

A deeper commitment to transparency and alignment.

Why did you choose your current path?

The unique privilege to generate economic goodwill at scale and an incredible way to keep a steady pulse on an ever-changing globe. The opportunistic seat allows me to learn and cultivate relationships with industry visionaries and smart investors across all category vectors. It’s the best job in the world.