Japan’s $1.5t pension fund GPIF re-appoints Hiromichi Mizuno as CIO

Photo: Mr. Hiromichi Mizuno/Bloomberg

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s largest retirement savings fund, has re-appointed Hiromichi Mizuno as its chief investment officer. Mizuno will continue to oversee the pension funds assets worth $1.47 trillion.

Mizuno, former private equity and banking executive, has served as CIO of the fund since January 2015, managing the fund’s shift to stocks from domestic debt, while advocating assets that incorporate environmental, social and governance factors.

Mizuno, whose term ended on September 30, 2019, captained sweeping changes to the investment strategy of the world’s largest pension fund over the past five years.

Before joining the GPIF, Mizuno was a partner at Coller Capital Ltd., a London-based private-equity firm.

GPIF has returned 1.5 per cent for the year-ended March 2019 as compared to 6.9 per cent in the previous fiscal amid wide losses in its equity exposure during the last three months of 2018.

Investment returns for the year were recorded at $21.9 billion as the AUM increased from Yen 156.4 trillion last fiscal to $1.47 trillion (Yen 159.2 trillion), according to GPIF results.

The pension fund, which invests in listed equities, bonds and alternative assets including private equity, real estate and infrastructure, increased its holdings in stocks and cut bonds, reworking its strategy in 2014.

In fact, the new strategy worked for GPIF as it generated a positive return for three financial years since 2014. The fund has also continued its push for foreign assets and alternatives increasing allocation to alternative assets to 3 per cent from 0.2 per cent till 2021.