Thomas Chan-Soo Kang WG'89
Kang & Co.

Wharton Speaker >> Biography


Mr. Kang is the CEO of Kang & Company, an investment firm, and the CEO of North Asia Investment Corporation, a blank-check company listed on the NYSE-Amex (NHR).  Prior to founding Kang & Company in the fall of 2007, he served as the Chairman and CEO of Seoul Securities (“SSC,” renamed Eugene Securities).  He joined SSC in early 1999, when an investor group led by Soros Fund Management became the largest shareholder of the firm, and resigned from SSC in the summer of 2007.  SSC was one of the more profitable firms in the Korean securities industry, as measured by return on equity, while he was its CEO; SSC had losses for four consecutive years previously.  During his tenure, SSC’s market capitalization quadrupled to W1.6 trillion, and its equity rose from approximately W200 billion to nearly W600 billion, despite returning approximately W200 billion to shareholders.  He led the acquisition of Hanil ITMC, a leading asset management company, and Cheil Futures, a leading derivatives company.  He also established Seoul Z, one of the first domestic private-equity operations, which provided high returns.  After Soros Fund Management successfully exited its investment in SSC in late 2005, Mr. Kang became the largest shareholder of SSC and subsequently sold the firm in late 2006.

Prior to joining Seoul Securities, he was a Managing Director at BT Wolfensohn in New York.  He began his career in 1984 at the predecessor firm, James D. Wolfensohn Incorporated, where he worked closely with the Honorable James D. Wolfensohn, the former President of the World Bank, and the Honorable Paul A. Volcker, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve.  At BT Wolfensohn, he specialized in mergers and acquisitions, focusing on financial services companies.  He was also involved in venture capital investments at James D. Wolfensohn Incorporated.  In addition, Mr. Kang worked as a Visiting Researcher at Korea Development Institute.

He holds an AB in economics from Harvard University and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School.  Mr. Kang is a board member of SK Holdings, KB Financial Group, the Bloomberg Asia-Pacific Advisory Board, the East Asia Institute, the Seoul Financial Forum and the National Strategy Institute.  He serves as President of the Harvard Yard Club and Vice Chairman of the Harvard Club of Korea.  He also lectures at Ewha Women’s University as an Adjunct Professor.  Mr. Kang is married and has twin daughters.