Korean pension fund POBA to double exposure in global PE vehicles, to invest $200m

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South Korea’s Public Officials Benefit Association (POBA), a local pension fund for government officials, will allot $200 million to private equity vehicles this fiscal, a 100 per cent jump, from its allocation last year, a report said.

Last year, POBA had committed $30 million to a fund run by The Blackstone Group, in addition to investing $40 million to Oaktree Capital Management; and another $30 million to Lexington Partners.

This (2015) was also the first instance of POBA investing in global PE firms after the 2007 financial crisis.

Mergermarket, in a report, quoting POBA’s chief investment officer Dong-Hun Jang, said, the Korean firm was interested in funds that targeted Europe, and added that it had already made contact with a few GPs in that continent. The report further said that POBA found Europe more attractive than China, as the latter presented regulatory uncertainties for investors.

The report also added that POBA would prefer to invest in PE firms that had more than $5 billion in assets under management.

This rules out POBA’s investments into most venture capital firms, as they would not be able to meet the $5 billion assets under management criteria.

According to the report, Dong-Hun Jang also said POBA is likely to spread its investments across ‘four to five general partners (GPs),’ indicating that it would invest around $40 to $50 million into each vehicle. It is probable that the fund will select GPs in Europe and Australia, given the firm’s interest in the two developed markets.

Founded in 1975, POBA is also looking at putting $58 million in infrastructure outside South Korea. The amount could potentially go up to $84 million, if the fund manages to sell various existing assets.

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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.