StepStone awarded GPIF global core infra mandate

Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management will act as the ‘gatekeeper’ to conduct due diligence on the fund of funds manager.

Japan’s $1.3 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund has appointed StepStone Infrastructure & Real Assets as its fund of funds manager for a global infrastructure mandate.

Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management has also been appointed as the gatekeeper to conduct due diligence on the fund of funds manager during the pre-investment stage, as well as collaborate and manage operations post-investment. The pair will help GPIF pursue fund investments and co-investments in core and brownfield strategies in mainly developed markets, in a bid to generate stable returns.

The appointments are the results of GPIF’s Request for Proposals in April 2017 as part of its efforts to increase exposure to alternative asset classes. The Japanese pension has a maximum allocation of 5 percent of its total portfolio for alternative investments.

GPIF declined to comment further on the appointments. A GPIF spokesperson noted that as of 1 June 2016, “there were 23 products applied across all alternative asset classes, including private equity, infrastructure and real estate”.

GPIF’s alternative investments exposure stood at 0.1 percent as at the end of last September. In 2014, the pension formed a partnership with Canada’s Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System and the Development Bank of Japan to co-invest in overseas infrastructure projects.

For its part, StepStone Group, an asset management and advisory firm, launched its infrastructure and real assets unit in August 2016, after incorporating a team of more than 20 infrastructure professionals from KPMG. The unit oversees more than $13 billion of capital allocations.