TOKYO, July 18 Japan's public pension fund has
hired a London-based private equity executive for its investment
committee, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to make the fund
more capable of riskier investments and less concentrated in
The $1.25 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF)
said Hiromichi Mizuno, a partner at Coller Capital which invests
in the private equity secondary market, was appointed for a
two-year term effective Friday.
He replaced Kimikazu Nomi, CEO of a state-backed investment
group called Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and whose
term expired earlier this month.
Mizuno brings extensive overseas investment experience to
the eight-member committee, which is comprised mainly of
economists and academics. His firm, Coller Capital, invests in
the secondary market and allows private equity investors to
liquidate their stakes early.
Prior to joining the firm in 2003, he held senior roles as
head of private equity investment and Japanese corporate finance
divisions in New York at the former Sumitomo Trust & Banking.
Mizuno will continue in his current job in London and travel
to meetings in Tokyo, a GPIF official said. All of the
committee's members hold day jobs elsewhere.
The latest appointment comes after the government overhauled
the fund in April by hiring new committee members and shrinking
its numbers to eight from 10.
Abe's government has been pressing the fund, which manages
reserves for the national pension system and is the world's
largest, to shift more of its portfolio into stocks and other
risk assets and away from the paltry yields of Japanese
government bonds (JGBs).
The 10-year JGB currently yields less than
It is hoping the fund can boost its investment returns for
the nation's burgeoning number of retirees. Since the 2009/10
fiscal year, it has been paying out more in benefits than it has
received in contributions due to the rising number of retirees
as Japan's population rapidly ages.
The fund had 53.43 percent of its assets in domestic bonds
at the end of March, 15.88 percent in Japanese equities, 10.66
percent in foreign bonds, 15.03 percent in foreign equities and
5 percent in short-term assets.
($1 = 101.3000 Japanese Yen)
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Christopher Cushing)