Japan’s $1.3trn GPIF seeks alternatives consultants

The world's largest pension plan has issued an RFP for investment consultants to advise on its underweight alternatives portfolio.

Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s largest pension fund, is looking for investment consultants to advise on its underweight allocation to alternatives.

The $1.25 trillion Japanese pension fund, which is led by former Coller Capital executive Hiromichi Mizuno, is targeting a 5 percent allocation to alternatives and had only invested about 0.06 percent in the asset class as of the end of March.

GPIF had ¥1.9 billion ($18 million; €17 million) in private equity and ¥81.4 billion in infrastructure through co-investments with external institutional investors, the fund said in a report.

To help Japan’s largest pension fund get up to weight, GPIF is seeking external advice and has issued a request for proposals, in Japanese, on its website with applications due by 5pm Japan Standard Time on 14 November 2016. Interested candidates can obtain explanatory materials by emailing choutatsu-t08@gpif.go.jp.

The consultant selection will be made through a competitive bidding process, and the successful advisors will have a mandate lasting until 31 March 2020, according to the request for proposals posted on the GPIF website.

Secondaries funds are the logical place for Japanese institutions wanting to gain exposure to alternatives to invest, Japan-based industry sources told Secondaries Investor in March. 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 its annual report published on 29 July, GPIF reported it lost ¥5.3 trillion in fiscal year 2015, driven by disappointing returns from its holdings of domestic equities, which fell 10.8 percent.