GPIF: $1.5 trillion and 80 people

July 2, 2008

When you’re in charge of $1.5 trillion of assets, keeping an eye on it with all of 80 people is not so easy. So says Takahiro Kawase, President of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund — the world’s largest government pension fund that manages about 150 trillion yen assets, nearly the size of Italy’s entire economy. And Kawase would like some help, even as the government keeps pressuring the agency to reduce costs and staffing. “We need more people and more resources to do what we really need to do,” Kawase told the Reuters Japan Investment Summit. “When I talk about foreign pension funds … they are growing in terms of size. They are investing in systems. In Japan, the traditional thinking is that its a cost centre. But I’m trying to change that.” At a staff of about 80, that comes to about $190 billion per employee.

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