GPIF seeks passive domestic equities managers

15 March 2017   Category: News, Asia, Global, Japan   By Asia Asset Management

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s largest pension fund with total AUM of 144.8 trillion yen (US$1.3 trillion), is on a recruitment drive for equities managers in a bid to broaden its manager line-up.

The move is part of GPIF’s recruitment of external managers for the passive investment of Japanese equities, and active and passive investment of non-Japanese equities, the fund said in a statement posted on its website on Monday (March 13). It did not disclose the size of the mandates.

GPIF says qualified candidates must have AUM of at least 100 billion yen from domestic and foreign pension funds. Those that fall short of this amount must have at least 100 billion yen AUM from other institutional investors such as financial institutions and foundations.

In addition, applicants must have a five-year track record in related investment strategies with AUM of at least 30 billion yen.

According to Pension & Investments, Shinichiro Mori, deputy director-general of GPIF's investment strategy department, says the fund is looking for managers that are not currently overseeing passive domestic equity mandates for GPIF to register with the fund’s internal registration system.

The system was introduced last year to give the pension fund more flexibility to change its manager line-up and have access to new investment ideas and strategies, according to the pension’s latest annual report.

Registration for managers of passive domestic equity strategies will open on March 27 this year, and the process for reviewing new managers will start on June 1. GPIF did not provide dates for managers of non-Japanese equities.  

As of March 31 last year, GPIF had outsourced passive investment of domestic equities to DIAM Asset Management (DIAM), BlackRock (BLK) Japan, Mizuho Trust & Banking Co, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp. The mandates under DIAM and Mizuho Trust & Banking Co were shifted to combined entity Asset Management One last October.