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GPIF makes first call for alternatives managers

The Japanese pension giant has stepped up its alternatives asset manager search and issued a call for applications for global private equity, infrastructure and real estate funds of funds.

The world’s largest pension, the $1.3 trillion Government Pension Fund of Japan (GPIF), has launched first-ever call for applications on Tuesday for private equity, real estate and infrastructure funds of funds.

For real estate, GPIF prefers managers focused on investing in global and Japan-core real estate funds. GPIF define core as a product mainly focused on generating a stable income, and exclude products invested mainly in listed funds.

For private equity, 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.

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

GPIF will hold an orientation on April 17, 2017 and a review process is expected to begin on June 1, 2017.

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.