- March 1, 2016: Vol. 8, Number 3

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Japan’s pension whales: GPIF – the country’s largest pension fund – will trigger overseas real estate investment by other institutional investors

by Yukihiko Ito

Much attention is focused on Japan now, and the four largest pension funds — dubbed pension whales — are being carefully monitored because three of the four have revealed their intentions to invest in real estate. Their first investments overseas are expected to encourage other investors to follow suit.

GPIF — Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund — is the country’s largest and arguably most influential pension fund, with US$1.15 trillion in assets under management. GPIF was the first to announce its move toward real estate in 2014. The second, the US$176 billion Chikyoren (Pension Fund Association for Local Government Officials), issued an RFP in July 2015 for global real estate and infrastructure. The third, the US$65 billion KKR (Federation of National Public Service Personnel Mutual Aid Association), recently issued an RFP for domestic real estate and global infrastructure. Considering government efforts to unify the pension system have resulted in all fo

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