You are on page 1of 14

.

1. Michael Kim – MBK Partners

Michael Kim is the founder of the Seoul based equity firm MBK partners. Michael attended private
schools in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, before enrolling at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. He majored in
English literature, leading to his lifelong love of the language. He then came to Korea to be an
entrepreneur. Now his buyout firm has gotten so large that it has the pockets to out bid any foreign
competitor thanks to Korean law that gave restrictions to foreign companies. This gave MBK partners a
huge upper hand which Michael Kim was able to use to his advantage. Kim at only 51 years old has
gotten the image of a master negotiator. Koster, now the CEO of AXA Belgium SA, said Kim was “tough,
reliable and trustworthy counterparty who knows what he wants.” Michael Kim is the main reason why
this once small startup turned into the biggest independent private equity firm in all of North Asia. He
was able to get early funding from pension funds and private investors from sovereign wealth and now
has a company with more than $8 billion under management. Recently however Kim has had his image
take a hit with his C&M Cable company’s workers going on strike. This however is a small hit to an
overall impressive portfolio. He has consistently made millions for his investors and it looks like South
Korea will continue to be a great market for buyouts in Asia. MBK Partners now has offices in Seoul,
Tokyo, and Shanghai.
In both contentious and transactional areas, Michael has a strong reputation. He manages proceedings
in the London High Court and has conducted numerous international arbitrations. His transactional work
includes advising on shipbuilding and offshore contracts, ship finance and outward investment from
Korea to Europe and Central Asia.

He was listed by Thomson Reuters in its Super Lawyer rankings 2013. Michael was also ranked as a
leading individual in Chambers Global 2015 in the ’Shipping International Firms’ category in South Korea,
where Stephenson Harwood was listed in Band 1.

Michael's clients include major shipowners, shipbuilders, insurers, traders, securities houses, banks and
P&I clubs in London and Hong Kong. He writes regularly for the trade, shipping and ship finance media
and often speaks on marine issues at seminars for shipowners, shipbuilders, ship finance banks,
charterers, traders and insurers.
2. Lee Sang Hyuk – Yello Mobile

Founder and Chief Executive Officer , Yello Mobile Inc.

Age Total Calculated This person is connected to 0 Board Members in 0 different


Compensation organizations across 1 different industries.

-- --

Background

Sang-Hyuk Lee is Founder of Yello Mobile and serves as its Chief Executive Officer.

Corporate Headquarters Annual Compensation

J Tower There is no Annual Compensation data available.


Seoul, -- 135-889
Stocks Options
South Korea There is no Stock Options data available.
Phone: 82 2 591 6565 Total Compensation
Fax: 82 2 512 1142
There is no Total Compensation data available.
Board Members Memberships

There is no Board Members Memberships data


available.

Education

There is no Education data available.

Other Affiliations

There is no Company Affiliations data available.

Lee Sang Hyuk is the CEO of a seoul based startup Yello Mobile which has become a one of the fastest
growing companies of all time. Founded in 2012, this umbrella company has gone on to acquire a vast
array of mobile focused startups. This 4 year old company easily is valued at over $1 billion. Lee Sang
Hyuk’s mission was to create a mobile platform company that served consumers in all areas of the
mobile space. Lee had experienced selling a startup called MyOne Card Corp. in 2011 to Daum
Communications, Korea’s second largest internet portal. So when he started Yello Mobile he had the
expertise of knowing what was wrong with the whole process of giving your startup to a giant like
Daum. There had to be a better way. He realized that for startups to succeed they needed to be
independent and have the freedom to function without the interference of an umbrella company. So
Yello Mobile is known for nurturing/mentoring startups without interfering. They started out with just
5 startups and now have around 100. Lee’s goal is to be the biggest platform for mobile commerce in
not only Korea but in all of Asia — with the notable exception of China’s relatively closed market.
3. Bom Kim Coupang

Kim is the founder of Coupang, the fastest-growing e-commerce site the country has seen to date.
Mimicking U.S.-based Amazon, Coupang is disrupting South Korea's online retail space by slashing prices
and investing heavily on swift deliveries. In June, Coupang raised $1 billion at a $5 billion valuation from
Japan's Softbank, headed by its Korean-Japanese founder Masayoshi Son. Kim graduated from Harvard
University and dropped out of Harvard Business School after only six months. In 2016, he was the
youngest person on the list of South Korea's 50 Richest.

Coupang CEO Bom Kim who has a 19% share in Coupang and is worth over a Billion dollars is considered
by many Korean entrepreneurs as the most famous Korean entrepreneur of all time. He was able to take
the Groupon model of the states and create Coupang. Coupang is now valued at over $5 billion and has
been able to keep Amazon at bay. He focused more on service with his same day delivery concept and
now the company has no competition. Kim was able to bring in the best programmers, engineers, and
translators into Korea to build this commerce startup. Inventory has increased year after year and now
does $1.5 billion in sales. Kim was born and raised in South Korea but moved to the states at an early
age. He started his first startup (print media) when he was in college and then worked for consulting
firms before he went to business school. He ended up dropping out of business school to start Coupang
and that has been the best decision he has ever made.

1Coupang is No. 1 in one of the world's most dynamic mobile shopping marketsShare on Twitter
South Korea, home to Samsung Electronics’ large-screen smartphones and one of the world’s highest-
quality wireless networks, has become a fertile breeding ground for mobile commerce. Unlike
Amazon.com, Coupang and one of its main domestic rivals, Ticket Monster, get about four-fifths of their
traffic and revenue from smartphones — in particular, the oversized handsets that are favored in South
Korea and across Asia.

2Coupang is betting big on vertical integrationShare on Twitter

While Amazon.com and Coupang’s domestic competitors parcel out the shipping and logistics duties to
third-party services, Coupang is betting it can distinguish itself by controlling the entire retail process,
from stocking products in warehouses to operating distribution centers to hiring a fleet of delivery men.
In densely-packed South Korea, the company can even promise to get most items to a customer’s door
within a few hours.

3SoftBank isn't the only big-name investor looking to KoreaShare on Twitter

While SoftBank’s bet is a big boost for Coupang, given its track record, the Japanese company is only the
latest overseas investor to make a splashy bet on South Korea’s mobile commerce market. Last
December, BlackRock led a $300 million investment in Coupang, and Silicon Valley venture-capital firm
Sequoia Capital and U.S. hedge fund manager William Ackman have invested in earlier rounds. Ticket
Monster, for its part, has attracted investments from KKR, Groupon, Canada’s largest pension fund and
Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

4Coupang is growing fastShare on Twitter

In 2013, a company called Wemakeprice, 100%-owned by South Korean entrepreneur Huh Min, was
larger than Coupang and Ticket Monster when measured by revenue. But last year, Wemakeprice saw
its revenue growth of about 70% outstripped by Coupang and Ticket Monster, which each more than
tripled their sales last year. Coupang’s 348.5 billion Korean won in sales ($315 million) last year was
more than double that of Ticket Monster and nearly triple that of Wemakeprice. Coupang, however,
isn’t profitable.

5Coupang and Ticket Monster have Ivy League rootsShare on Twitter

Coupang founder Bom Kim was born in South Korea but attended Harvard University as an
undergraduate. While studying for a business degree at Harvard Business School, Mr. Kim dropped out
in 2010 to start Coupang. At about the same time, Daniel Shin, a South Korea-born graduate of the
University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, had moved back to Seoul to start Ticket Monster.
4. Kim Beom Su – Kakao:

One of the most promising ventures in Korea at the moment is Kakao, the developer and operator of a
free texting service for smartphone users. In just one year, KakaoTalk attracted 9.8 million subscribers,
meaning 90 percent of 10 million smartphone users in Korea are members of the service.

Kakao was established by Kim Beom-soo (45) and Lee Je-beom (33) together with a developer and an
administrator. They developed several online services but were unable to achieve visible results as
competition with giants such as Naver and Google was tough. But then they decided to take a bet on
smartphones.

In a meeting with staff in early January, Kim and Lee came up with the idea of offering free texting from
mobile phones. A text message normally costs around W20 (US$1=W1,105), and they thought it would
be possible to make it free by providing a kind of messenger service for texts. They immediately
embarked on developing the program.

The goal was succinct and clear -- a quick and easy method of sending texts only. After two months of
work, they launched KakaoTalk for iPhones in March last year. It does not require laborious registration:
just by downloading the program, users are automatically registered through their phone number, and
everyone in their phone book is automatically added to the KakaoTalk contact list.

Since August last year, the number of smartphone users has soared rapidly as more and more models hit
the market such as Samsung's Galaxy and LG's Optimus. The membership of KakaoTalk also grew
explosively by 1 to 1.5 million each month. There are also about 1 million users overseas in 216
countries, including Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the U.S.

The service processes 200 million messages a day, which roughly translates into W4 billion worth of fees
saved. Lee said, "We had no idea that the membership base would grow this exponentially." The
company now employs 40 staff, with more than half being developers.

The result is impressive, but it is still not as profitable as it might seem. The "gift" service introduced last
December is the only profitable feature in the service. It enables users to send simple things like coffee
or cake to a friend by placing the order with a smartphone. There are about 10,000 transactions a
month, posting W2 billion of sales. But after deducting operating costs and paying salaries, the company
is racking up debts of several hundred million a month. Lee said he is not worried about making profits
in the immediate future. "If we secure a great number of subscribers, a profit model can be made at any
time," he says. Kim, who made hundreds of billions of won at NHN, has invested W10 billion of
operating cost of Kakao out of his own pocket so far.

Venture businessmen were the first to acknowledge Kakao's potential. Fourteen people including NCsoft
CEO Kim Taek-jin, NXC CEO Kim Jung-ju, and Neowiz CEO Na Sung-kyun made an additional W5.3 billion
of investment. There are 20 to 30 phone calls proposing partnerships, investment or mergers and
acquisitions every day. "I've met almost all big companies that you may recognize, from large companies
and banks to entertainment businesses," he says. The industry estimates the value of Kakao above
W100 billion.

© This is copyrighted material owned by Digital Chosun Inc. No part of it may be reproduced or
transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission.

Founder of Kakao Kim Beom Su is the most successful internet entrepreneur of all time. His love of
online games and cyber communication has made him one of South Korea’s few self-made billionaires.
Currently he is valued at just over $2 billion. His parents were not rich and Kim grew up not having
much. His family of eight shared one bedroom in a poor neighborhood in Seoul. He was the first in his
family to go to college and paid for it himself with private tutoring. This made Kim very driven in life and
soon got a job at Samsung’s IT unit. After 5 years of working at the company he decided to start a
company of his own. He opened an internet cafe and started to develop online social casino games. He
created Hangame which later merged with Naver to create NHN. In 2010, he launched KakaoTalk, which
is now used by three quarters of South Korea’s 50m population. Kim is a self made man and his net
worth is $2.3 billion as of 2015.Kim ranks 92nd on the Richest Person In Tech list (2015), he is also
ranked 11th richest person in Korea and 628th Billionaire in the world according to Forbes.
5. Lim Sung Ki – Hanmi Science

Lim was born in 1940 in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province, and studied pharmacy at Chung-Ang University. He
set up a namesake pharmacy in Seoul before establishing a pharmaceutical company – first bearing his
name and then named Hanmi – in 1973.
He is was one of the first Koreans to enter the international market and is credited with rewriting the
history of the Korean drug industry. He built up the company by selling generic medicines, but is a firm
believer in the importance of R&D.
His firm was accused of colluding with the government in the campaign against widespread kickbacks in
the industry in 2010.
Nonetheless, he spent about 530 billion won over five years, and succeeded in securing major license
deals and contracts, estimated to be worth 8 trillion won, with global pharmaceutical companies in
2015.
In January 2016, he handed over some of his personal stocks, worth about 110 billion won, as a gift to
his employees.
He is married with three children, all of whom are working at affiliated companies.

The original self made entrepreneur ranks #1 on our list. This “Parma King” has now a net worth of over
$3.4 billion. He is the founder of Hanmi Science which is now a global player in the $1 trillion
pharmaceutical industry. Lim earned a pharmacy degree at Chung Ang University in 1965. He started
his startup small pharmacy in Seoul and now Hanmi Science has license agreements with major global
players in the pharmaceutical industry. Their total market capital is more than LGs (8.4 trillion to 8.3
trillion won). Lim was big on investing in research and development. This has lead to their stocks
skyrocketing. Now not only has Lim became a billionaire but all his family members who invested early
have as well. For a non tech startup to become bigger than LG is something you won’t see in Korea
where Electronics or Automobile manufacturing are the giants.
SUMMERY:
It was only a few years ago that South Korea, wracked by poverty, political chaos and popular
discontent, was widely regarded as a sinkhole of American aid. Now this small, ruggedly anti-
communist country enjoys relative political stability and is making impressive economic
progress. It has become one of the success stories of the United States assistance program. How
did this startling reversal come about?
Officials familiar with South Korea's history since the war with the communist North insist that
the ingredients for success had been there for a long time, however obscured they may have
been in the dark days of the early 1960s. They are convinced that the apparent miracle is
genuine and likely to continue, although as Assistant Secretary of State William P. Bundy has
pointed out: "While Korea's achievements are considerable, its major problems require that they
be kept in perspective."
Economic growth was at the rate of 7.6 percent annually over the 1962-67 period, with an 8.4
percent rise in 1967 and a surprising 13.1 percent for 1968, but it started from a very low base.
The living standard is perceptibly rising, as indicated by the sale of new homes, television sets,
refrigerators, more food and better clothes; but per capita income is still not much above $140 a
year, deep pockets of poverty exist and the gap between urban and rural income has been
growing. Although considerable progress has been made toward democracy, the overriding need
for stability and order and the government's vigilant anti-communist policy lay a heavy hand
across certain sectors of society. However, to those familiar with the spirit of defeatism that so
long prevailed among the Korean people, the key element is a new feeling of self-reliance and
self-assurance that has begun to pervade the country.

Finally, what really impresses me is Korea’s open and proactive approach to forging
partnerships with the Global South, especially Africa. In 2006, former President, Roo Moo-hyun,
announced the ‘Korea Initiative on Africa’s Development’, an action plan that aimed to support
the continent’s socioeconomic transformation through collaboration in infrastructure, human
resources development, information and communication technology as well as knowledge
sharing. As part of this programme, the World Bank and the KDI are partnering to support eight
African countries in policy development, capacity building and financing skills development in
priority economic sectors. As discussed earlier, the conference I attended in Korea provided an
opportunity for representatives from Senegal, Rwanda and Ethiopia to learn from Korea’s highly
successful science and technology policy first hand, and explore how to build skills in the
applied sciences and technology. This is a particularly worthy initiative as it allows African
countries to learn best practices from Korea’s experience and adjust them to their own national
contexts. At the same time, it promotes the development of knowledge hubs, and helps build
rich connections between policymakers, practitioners and other stakeholders.
In short, I would encourage developing countries besides Africa to look to Korea for inspiration
in fostering cutting-edge science and technological innovation, and improving the livelihoods of
rural communities. I also applaud Korea for its commendable efforts to foster development
cooperation between countries of the global South.