APAC: GPIF picks DBJ Asset as infra manager 

10 April 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

Japan’s USD 1.3trn Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) said today that it has appointed DBJ Asset Management as an investment manager for its global infrastructure mandate.

The move is the third by the world’s biggest pension fund to select fund-of-infrastructure funds managers after launching an RFP process in April last year.

GPIF selected StepStone Infrastructure & Real Assets in January and Pantheon in February as global infrastructure managers to invest in core, brownfield infrastructure funds in developed countries.

But the USD 1.3trn pension fund said it has picked DBJ Asset Management as investment manager, “focusing mainly on opportunities in Japan”.

DBJ Asset Management is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the government-backed Development Bank of Japan (DBJ). It had JPY 1.1trn (USD 10.3bn) assets under management at end March 2018.

DBJ has a track record of investing in Japan-focused renewable energy funds.

Earlier this year, GPIF president Norihito Takahashi told reporters in Tokyo that it is inevitable to see overseas as the main investment destination, given the size and maturity of the current market conditions.

But Takahashi didn’t rule out the possibility of investing in infrastructure funds at home. “We think we would go ahead with infrastructure investment if there are good deals,” he said at the time.

Under its mid-term goal, GPIF can invest up to 5% of its assets in alternative investments including infrastructure. But progress to diversify its investment portfolio has been slow, with the ratio accounting for only 0.1% as of 31 December 2017.

As of the end of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, GPIF had invested JPY 96.4bn (USD 900m) in infrastructure. 

By country, Australia was the largest investment destination making up 27% of the total followed by the UK (26%), Sweden (25%) Spain (17%) and Finland (5%).