GPIF extends CIO’s tenure for 6 months

Hiromichi Mizuno was reappointed as chief investment officer of the ¥144.8 trillion ($1.3 trillion) Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund, Tokyo, the pension fund announced Monday.

A spokesman for the world's biggest pension fund said the reappointment is an irregular one of six months — compared to a typical two-year contract — that extends Mr. Mizuno's term as CIO through Sept. 30, but in line with a law which passed Japan's parliament late last year to reform GPIF's governance structure.

Mr. Mizuno joined GPIF as its first CIO in January, 2015, a few months after the GPIF board approved a plan to roughly double the fund's targeted equity allocation to 50% and slash its target for holdings of Japanese government bonds to 35% from 60%.

While he came to GPIF from his role as a partner at London-based private equity firm Coller Capital, GPIF has only dipped its toe into alternatives during Mr. Mizuno's more than two years as CIO.

As of the Dec. 31 close of the fund's latest announced results, GPIF reported a mere 7 basis points of its assets in infrastructure, a tiny fraction of the 5% ceiling the board set in October 2014 for combined investments in alternatives strategies.

Still, the fund has continued to hire veteran investors in the alternatives space, including, in February, Mitsui Fudosan managing director Hideto Yamada as GPIF's first head of real estate. Also, in a recent interview, Norihiro Takahashi, GPIF's president, said growing allocations to alternatives would be one means of moderating the portfolio's recent volatility.