AUM in Action

Japan’s GPIF Explores Farmland, Forest Options

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) is conducting research on further diversifying its asset mix to include illiquid assets such as forests, farmland, gold and bitcoin. GPIF, the world’s largest pension fund with US$1.4 trillion AUM, invests across bonds, stocks, real estate, infrastructure and private equity. In a request for information (RFI) open until 19 April, the pension fund is seeking information on a range of illiquid assets, covering market environment, size, trading volume, investment type, and academic findings and papers. The RFI calls for inputs about measurement methods related to expected return, risk, and performance and ESG assessment. GPIF is also collecting information on illiquid assets beyond its current asset mix, covering investment examples and philosophy, and ways to incorporate those investments into an institutional investor portfolio. The pension fund said that no subsequent briefings would be held and no compensation would be provided for any information received, and that the information would not be publicly disclosed. Last September, GPIF began to review the impact of its stewardship activities and ESG investments to inform its future investment activities. The pension fund is reportedly also planning to resume stock lending for the first time since it  suspended the practice in December 2019 – though only to lend foreign stocks. The Pan Asia Securities Lending Association was “encouraged” by GPIF’s decision to resume its securities lending activities in non-Japanese securities, saying it would add liquidity and enhance price discovery in equities.


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