World’s Largest Pension Names New President

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Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s largest pension fund, named a new president this week.

He takes the helm of a pension fund undergoing rapid change and facing many challenges.

From Bloomberg:

The world’s biggest pension fund named former agricultural banker Norihiro Takahashi as president, bringing in a new manager to take the reins in a Japanese election year marked by volatile stock trading.

Takahashi, 58, will replace a retiring Takahiro Mitani. He faces a tough introduction to the job as president of the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund. Opposition politicians claim that the fund has invested too much in stocks after doubling its allocation of equities in 2014 with the blessing of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

That criticism is only likely to increase in the run-up to elections which are likely this year, after a volatile start to 2016 whipsawed global equity markets and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average had its worst start to a year on record. Japanese stocks have recovered about half their losses after tumbling more than 20 percent through Feb. 12.

“Takahashi is going to have to be very mentally strong,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “Even if he gets pressure from above him, I hope he’ll do what’s right for pensioners, not politicians.”

He’ll begin the job on April 1.


Photo by Ville Miettinen via Flickr CC License

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