Reports: John Bolton pitches private equity opportunities in South Korea

Former White House national security adviser John Bolton met with South Korean institutional investors this week in Seoul as he seeks new clients for Rhone Group, a U.S. private equity firm where he works as a senior adviser.

Former national security adviser John Bolton met with institutional investors in South Korea this week, as a representative of Rhone Group, a private equity firm. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/

Bolton left the White House in September after disagreeing with President Donald Trump on foreign policy, including North Korea. He visited the South and met with various groups this week, including the Korea Teachers’ Credit Union, the Korea Times reported.

The South Korean credit union said they discussed with Bolton alternative overseas investments. Bolton also met with Atinum Partners, a South Korean private equity firm, and the Korea Scientists and Engineers Mutual-Aid Association.

The Rhone group, which manages $5.5 billion in assets, appears to be targeting various state-owned South Korean funds, including the Nonghyup Cooperative Banking Depositor Protection Fund, Korea Investment Corp. and the Public Officials Benefit Association.


South Korean executives of the country’s National Pension Program did not meet with Bolton, however, Money Today reported Friday.

The National Pension Service of Korea is a public pension fund in South Korea. It is the third largest in the world with $600 billion in assets.

A South Korean senior private equity manager who spoke anonymously told the news service the National Pension Program has previously been approached by Rhone Group.


Rhone Group’s “aggressive private equity management strategy did not match the National Pension’s stable private equity management strategy,” Money Today’s source said.

National Pension executives may have also turned down a meeting with Bolton.

A second source who spoke to Money Today said Bolton’s removal from the White House has “lowered the impact he could have on the U.S. government,” a view that may have affected Rhone Group’s prospects of meeting with National Pension officials.

Bolton could also be “in talks with the Trump impeachment inquiry about a possible deposition,” The Guardian reported early Friday.

ByElizabeth Shim