DECONSTRUCTED: Treat this imposter just the same

New York-based private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) is no stranger to being imitated. Back in August 2013 the UK’s financial securities watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), issued a warning to investors after an unregulated company posed as the NYSE-listed alternative asset manager to win business.

KKR became aware of the scam when a concerned investor notified the firm about being approached by someone claiming to represent KKR. The FCA then reached out to the firm after they were alerted by a wary investor with a similar story.
The private equity firm now faces a different type of identity crisis as one of Japan’s ‘big four’ pension funds emerges onto our radars.

The Federation of National Public Service Personnel Mutual Aid Associations, which is preparing to invest for the first time in alternative asset classes including real estate, is known in Japan as KKR.

The reason the pension fund takes on the KKR mantle is that is how the institution’s acronym would be pronounced in Japanese.

The $65 billion pension fund will start to play a bigger part of the real estate lexicon in the coming near term after it issued requests for proposals (RFPs) last month for external managers to provide it with investment opportunities in alternative assets.

It is thought it will try to emulate its far bigger contemporary, the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) which signaled its intent to invest in alternatives in 2014.

GPIF is looking to allocate up to 5 percent in the first instance. That would theoretically mean as much as $3.25 billion dedicated to alternatives investments from KKR.

That is one note fund managers will want to receive from the hitherto as-yet relatively unknown KKR.