Japan’s GPIF enlists Coller’s Asia head

Hiromichi Mizuno will reportedly advise the $1.3tr institutional investor for the next two years, as it gears up to invest more in alternative assets.

The world’s largest pension fund, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), has appointed a London-based secondaries professional to its investment committee, as the $1.3 trillion institution gears up to invest more in alternative assets, including private equity.

Hiromichi Mizuno, partner and head of Asia at secondaries firm Coller Capital, has been appointed for a two-year term, replacing out-going Kimikazu Nomi, according to media reports.

GPIF did not respond to requests for comment, while Coller declined to comment.

Mizuno will reportedly remain in his role at Coller and is unique to the investment committee which mainly comprises economists and academics.

The move comes as GPIF activates its alternative investment unit, considering a target allocation of between 5 and 10 percent of its total assets. It is unclear if it plans to use the secondaries market to quickly build and diversify an alternatives portfolio; some LPs without long-established alternatives programmes, such as CIC, have done so in the past.

“After infrastructure, we are now focusing on private equity and real estate,” Tokihiko Shimizu, director-general of GPIF’s research department, previously told Secondaries Investor’s sister publication Private Equity International.

“Currently we are in talks with institutional investors about joint investments in private equity. [An investment] will come some time in the next 12 months,” he explained, adding that GPIF’s main priority will be to achieve diversification across geographies, sectors and scale.

“Our important task now is to construct a private equity strategy in light of these broad aspects. Given our fund size, investing in a fund of funds does not make sense. The efficient way is to invest through a separate account arrangement. We have meetings with many gatekeepers, but it won’t be only one we choose. We’ll hire several.”