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MBK Partners chairman Michael ByungJu Kim

MBK Partners chairman Michael ByungJu Kim has been selected by Forbes Asia as one of Asia’s representative philanthropists for the second consecutive year following 2021.

Forbes Asia announced the list of 15 Asian philanthropists for 2022 on Dec. 6, which included chairman Kim once again.

The list highlights leading altruists in the Asia-Pacific region who demonstrated a strong personal commitment to philanthropic causes such as education and the environment, among others. They all donated from their own fortunes. Previous honorees included in this year’s list have made recent significant contributions that justify a relisting.

Among the 15 selected, Kim is one of the three selected for the second consecutive year along with brothers Ronnie Chan and Gerald Chan, co-founders of Morningside Group in Hong Kong. Kim is the only Korean among the 15 philanthropists selected this year.

Forbes highly evaluated Kim for his contribution to the arts sector and his vision for education.

Kim donated US$10 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in September last year. To celebrate the donation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has decided to name one of its exhibition rooms the Michael B. Kim and Kyung Ah Park Gallery. Kyung Ah Park is Kim’s wife. Kim is also active as a board member of Carnegie Hall, New York.

Kim also donated 30 billion won out of his own pocket to build the Seoul City Library last year. To honor the generous donor, the Seoul City government named the library the “Seoul Municipal Michael B. Kim Library.” The design of the library was selected through an international competition on Sept. 29. Its completion is scheduled for February 2027.

The MBK Scholarship Foundation established by Kim in 2007 has been providing full tuition for four years of college to selected students. A total of 170 scholarship students have been produced by the MBK Scholarship Foundation until this year.

Kim also donated the entire cost required to build the ‘Ki Yong Kim Hall’ at Haverford University, where he graduated in 2010, and continues to support Harvard Business School, another alma mater. 

“I wanted to put into practice ‘impact giving’ by focusing on education, culture and arts,” Kim said. “Art works bring beauty to the world, and education is the driving force that can change the world.”

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