GPIF makes first call for alternatives managers

The Japanese pension giant has issued a call for funds of funds separately managed accounts across global private equity, infrastructure and real estate.

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s largest pension, launched its first-ever call for applications on Tuesday for separately manged funds of funds accounts across private equity, real estate and infrastructure.

For private equity, the $1.3 trillion GPIF is looking for global funds of funds with “diversified investments in private equity funds”.

Meanwhile for infrastructure, the pension fund is seeking global managers who target diversified investments in core and brownfield infrastructure projects in developed countries. For real estate, GPIF prefers both managers focused on global and Japan-core real estate funds

Interested applicants are asked to submit their applications through GPIF’s asset manager registration system.

GPIF will hold an orientation on 17 April and a review process is expected to begin on 1 June.

Secondaries funds are the logical place for Japanese institutions wanting to gain exposure to alternatives to invest, Japan-based industry sources previously told Secondaries Investor. J-curve mitigation and the ability to evaluate managers before deciding to commit to their primary vehicles or through co-investments made secondaries the ideal starting point, they said.

In early April, GPIF extended the tenure of chief investment officer and executive managing director Hiromichi Mizuno, a former Coller Capital investment executive, until 30 September.

The pension giant’s latest move signals it is gearing up to make investments in Japan and other developed countries. In October last year, GPIF sought out investment consultants to advise on its underweight allocation to alternatives.

GPIF is targeting a 5 percent allocation to alternatives, however as at the end of March 2016, it had only invested about 0.06 percent in alternatives, with ¥1.9 billion ($17 million; €16 million) in private equity, and ¥81.4 billion in infrastructure through co-investments with external institutional investors, the fund said in a report.

Join sister publication Private Equity International in Tokyo this month and find out which strategies are most interesting to Japanese LPs. Private Equity International’s Global Investor Forum: Tokyo will be held on 26 to 27 April, and the Infrastructure Investor Tokyo Summit will be held on 25 to 26 April.