It’s fair to say that Japan doesn’t have the greatest demographic profile, with an ageing population putting pressure on the country to undertake cheap money schemes to get the economy moving.
While not so good for inflation, the country’s rising tide of pensioners might just be good news for alternative fund managers, who can sell into its burgeoning retirement market.
One company that has made the move is Swiss-based private markets company Partners, listed on the Swiss stoke exchange.
Yesterday it struck a deal to distribute its private equity and infrastructure funds with Japanese finance giant Mizuho Financial Group, a key player in Japan’s pension market.
Both firms said they will “explore opportunities for further collaboration and potential product development”, to meet “the increasing demand from Japan’s institutional investors for access to global private market investments”.
What does all this mean? Partners is a giant in the private markets, going head to head with other private capital groups like Paul Capital and Pantheon.
This distribution deal will give Partners a ready market to sell into, and one that is relatively untapped (Japan’s alternative fund prospects are undeveloped compared to the west).
The pension funds get decent, stable, uncorrelated returns to help pay their pensioners. It seems a good mix and one that is likely to replicated in future.