Japan’s GPIF signs up private equity expert

25 July 2014   Category: News, Asia, Global, Japan   By Daniel Shane

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the public retirement savings manager with US$1.3 trillion in assets, has hired a senior private equity executive in London as it pursues a strategy of allocating more of its portfolio to riskier investments.

According to a report by Reuters, the GPIF has hired Coller Capital Partner Hiromichi Mizuno to its investment committee for a two-year stretch.

Prior to joining Coller in 2003, Mr. Mizuno occupied high-level private equity and corporate finance roles in New York at the former Sumitomo Trust & Banking. He will remain in his job at Coller and continue to be based in the UK capital, but will travel to committee meetings in Tokyo.

Mr. Mizuno will replace Kimikazu Nomi, the chief executive officer of the Japanese government-backed Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, who left after his term expired in June. Other members of the GPIF investment committee include prominent academics and economists.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing for the GPIF to restructure its portfolio, which has relied predominately on low-yielding domestic bonds. The pension manager is preparing to announce a new portfolio make-up in the autumn, which will likely increase exposure to other asset classes, such as alternative investments.

As of March 31, 2014, the fund held 16.47%, or 20.8 trillion yen ($205.01 billion), in domestic stocks, while the foreign equity allocation stood at 15.03%, or 19.7 trillion yen.

In the past 12 years since the GPIF started managing public pension savings, the fund has made a total of 35.4 trillion yen in profit.