September 2, 2013 / 4:51 AM / 4 years ago

Japan's giant pension fund picks new managers for foreign stocks

TOKYO, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Japan's public pension fund, the
world's biggest, has selected eight asset fund companies to
actively manage $159 billion in foreign equities in its massive
portfolio aimed at raising higher returns to cope with a rapidly
ageing population.
    The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), which holds
$1.2 trillion in asset, larger than the economy of Mexico,
occasionally replaces new managers to supervise its assets by
reviewing performances and services including fees.
    Nomura Asset Management, BlackRock and Principal Global
Investors, which won a mandate previously and were listed as
foreign stock managers as of March 31 in GPIF's annual
investment report, were not selected.
    GPIF started the process of selecting new fund companies to
supervise foreign equities, which represents more than 12
percent of the fund's entire assets, in June 2012.
    The public fund previously selected active foreign stock
managers in March 2009 when it appointed 14 asset managers.     
    But GPIF has selected eight fund management companies this
time and only three firms such as Amundi Japan remained from the
previous selection.
    MSCI Kokusai will be used as the benchmark to manage foreign
    GPIF allocates its portfolio in four conventional asset
classes -- foreign equities, foreign bonds, domestic bonds and
domestic equities.
    In early June, GPIF changed its portfolio strategy to
increase its exposure to domestic and foreign equities and
foreign bonds. At the same time, the fund reduced the target for
its allocation to Japanese government bonds to 60 percent from
67 percent. The move represented a significant shake-up of
investment strategy since the fund was formed in 2001.
    The public fund's allocation to foreign equities rose to 12
percent from 9 percent.
    GPIF posted an investment gain of 1.9 percent in the
April-June quarter as returns were hurt by a record quarterly
loss from its investment in Japanese bonds.  
    Its investment in foreign equities produced a positive
return of 6.14 percent during the quarter, or a 921.8 billion
yen investment gain.
    Following is the list of managers. Sub advisers are in
parenthesis and existing managers indicated by asterisk
(benchmark MSCI Kokusai):
    1) Amundi Japan*
    2) MFS Investment Management*

    3) Natixis Asset Management

    4) Nikko Asset Management

    5) BNY Mellon Asset Management Japan*

    6) Mizuho Asset Management

    7) Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking

    8) Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking

    Names of active managers of foreign equities disclosed in
GPIF's annual performance report as of March 31. 
    1) Amundi Japan
    2) MFS Investment Management

    3) State Street Global Advisors

    4) Nomura Asset Management
    5) BNY Mellon Asset Management Japan

    6) BNY Mellon Asset Management Japan

    7) Fidelity 

    8) BlackRock Japan

    9) Principal Global Investors

    10) Legg Mason Asset Management
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