Japan Post Insurance appoints new alts head – exclusive

The insurance giant has promoted a member of its global credit investment team to lead its $10bn push into alternatives, Private Equity International has learned.

Japan Post Insurance has appointed a replacement head of alternative investments following the departure of Tadasu Matsuo, sister title Private Equity International understands.

The ¥71.9 trillion ($661 billion; €610 billion) insurer has selected Keiichi Abe to lead its alternative investment office, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter. Abe was promoted from within JPI’s global credit investment team on 1 April, one of the sources said.

A spokesperson for JPI confirmed Abe’s appointment.

Matsuo joined HarbourVest Partners to co-lead its Japan coverage as a managing director, AVCJ reported on Monday. The former head of Daido Life’s alternative investment operations, Matsuo was appointed in 2016 to oversee JPI’s push into private equity, real estate, infrastructure and hedge funds.

A spokeswoman for HarbourVest did not return a request for comment about Matsuo’s appointment by press time.

JPI’s three-year plan to reach around $10 billion of alternative assets under management by 2021 is understood to be unchanged. The organisation has so far been investing through gatekeepers and plans to make direct fund commitments by 2021 and begin co-investing within a decade, as Private Equity International has reported.

JPI made headlines in August after launching an investigation into 183,000 insurance contracts that may have been affected by improper sales practices. As of late March it had reviewed 11,434 cases and found 3,033 violations of laws and regulations or internal rules, according to a JPI document.

The insurer said last month it would continue its freeze on ordinary sales activities for its products indefinitely and will consult external experts about plans to resume.

– Adam Le contributed to this report.