University of Michigan commits $25m to Japanese real estate fund

Aerials view of Michigan Stadium as the sun rises during a Day in the Life of the University of Michigan on August 23, 2011.

The regents of the University of Michigan have committed up to $25 million to the Japanese real estate investment fund Star Asia Japanese Special Situations V. The investment was approved on September 17, 2020, according to a board meeting document.

The fund is managed by Star Asia Group, an independent investment management firm primarily investing in Japanese real estate. As on March 31, 2020, Star Asia had invested over 750 billion yen ($7.2 billion) across real estate related opportunities including properties, loans, securitised assets, and companies.

The firm was founded in 2006 by Malcolm F MacLean IV and Taro Masuyama, and “seeks special situations throughout Japan where the team is able to acquire high-quality assets at meaningful discounts due to complexity, distress or unique situations,” the board of Regents said.

The $12.3 billion Michigan university school fund had almost $6.5 billion in alternative investments as of end-July this year, or 52.6 per cent of the total asset mix, in which venture capital and private equity accounted for the largest allocations at 19.5 per cent and 13.7 per cent, respectively. It has made about $190 million commitments to absolute return and alternative assets in 2020.

In 2019, the school pledged $75 million to Warburg Pincus’ China-Southeast Asia-focused private equity fund which has a target fund size of $3.5 billion. Its other commitments last year included more than $100 million to Asia funds such as Accel India VI, Hong Kong-based Tybourne Strategic Opportunities Fund, and China-focused GSR Ventures VII.

In June, the university proposed a $50-million, follow-on investment in GSR Ventures’ latest fund. The previous commitment was $30 million.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.