NPS adds three more foreign alternatives managers to roster

The National Pension Service of South Korea (NPS) has added another pension fund and two investment firms to the pool of managers overseeing its foreign alternative investments, taking the total number to 162.

Dutch pension fund APG, Melbourne-based IFM Investors and the U.S. investment firm Thoma Bravo are the latest additions, according to a fourth-quarter alternative investment report released by the pension plan on Friday (February 26).

NPS and APG announced a strategic partnership in October last year to increase joint investments in real assets globally. They teamed up to buy a majority stake in Portuguese toll road operator Brisa and also jointly invested in the Scape Core Fund managed by Australia’s largest student housing operator, Scape Australia.

IFM Investors is one of the largest infrastructure investors globally, with offices in New York, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong, as well as Australia. The firm had 151 billion Australian dollars ($117 billion) in assets under management at the end of 2020, with 66.9 billion Australian dollars invested in the infrastructure sector.

Thoma Bravo is a San Francisco-based private equity and growth capital firm which was managing over $73 billion in assets on September 30, 2020. NPS and Korean Teachers’ Credit Union put $100 million each into the firm’s 14th flagship buyout fund at the end of last year. Recent investments by Thoma Bravo include a stake in RealPage, which provides software and data analytics to the real estate industry.

Meanwhile, NPS added two firms, NH-Amundi Asset Management and K Net Venture Capital, to its domestic asset manager roster in the fourth quarter.

The pension fund had 833.7 trillion won ($743.2 billion) in assets under management at the end of 2020, with alternative investments accounting for 90.7 trillion won, or 10.9%. It will boost the allocation to alternative investments to about 15% by 2025. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)