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.