Connecting Japanese capital to global private debt opportunities

The inaugural PDI Tokyo Forum on 5 November 2019 will bring together more than 150 of Japan’s most active outbound investors and global GPs in the private credit space to analyse the latest trends in the market, discover new opportunities globally and build valuable connections for business growth.

Following the news of Pension Fund Association for Local Government Officials’ (Chikyoren) debut in private corporate debt investment and its existing exposure to private lending, as well as GPIF’s recent $73.4 million commitment for direct co-investment along with IFC and Development Bank of Japan, Japan’s institutional investors are expanding their alternative investments to generate yield amid the low interest rate environment.

Utilising Private Debt Investor’s position as the most prestigious debt specialised publication, this Forum is your gateway to connect with Japan’s largest LPs and exchange insights with the most influential global GPs.

Key conversation topics at the conference:

  • Japanese LPs’ risk appetite shift and what they are looking for in global fund managers?
  • The debt landscape across developed markets: Deals, deployment and returns
  • The rise of real asset debt among Asian investors
  • Exchange ideas with giant GPs: How to stay competitive?
  • Case studies on mezzanine financing and direct lending

Who is it for?

PDI Japan flag


As the ONLY conference specialised in private debt in Japan, the Forum is your gateway to meet with the most influential global GPs, exchange ideas on the latest market trends with peers and unlock the most sought-after investment opportunities in 2019 and beyond.

PDI Tokyo forum fund manager

Fund managers

With a GP:LP raito of 2:3, the Forum is your perfect opportunity to connect with Japan’s behemoth institutional investors, learn about their fund manager selection methods, build connections and turbocharge your fundraising.

PDI Tokyo Forum Service Provider

Service providers

Demonstrate your skills and services packages to more than 150 senior private debt professionals globally and grow your business in the private credit and lending space. This is a conference you cannot afford to miss.

What our delegates say

A quote icon for decorating the content Qianru Yang

Keppel Capital

“Well thought through and relevant content. Provides good insight into how LPs think about this asset class.”

A quote icon for decorating the content Ryoko Katayama

Topaz Capital

“Very well organized and structured. Great access to the assets’ leading players and insights.”

A quote icon for decorating the content Harald Eggerstedt

Towers Watson

“PDI events bring private debt investment and structuring expertise together like no other conference I have attended.”

Seize the growth opportunity

Following the news of Pension Fund Association for Local Government Officials’ (Chikyoren) debut in private corporate debt investment and its existing exposure to private lending, as well as GPIF’s recent $73.4 million commitment for direct co-investment along with IFC and Development Bank of Japan, Japan’s institutional investors are expanding their alternative investments to generate yield amid the low interest rate environment. There has never been a better time to connect with the Japanese investors and grow your business in 2019 and beyond.

Access global market intelligence

Utilising Private Debt Investor’s position as the most prestigious publication specialised in private debt, the Forum will provide you the most exclusive analysis together with unrivalled insights from global senior private debt professionals.

Based on the latest PDI 50 research the private debt market is stable, with future funds targeting more region-specific opportunities.


Source: PDI 50 ranking
*PDI 50 ranks that 50 private debt fund managers raising the most amount of capital over a five-year period.

Join the leaders in private debt


senior private debt professionals




GP:LP ratio

Expand connections. Unlock the opportunities.

Latest survey completed by Private Debt Investor research team shows that private debts LPs are looking to increase the number of GP relationships.

Past attendees in Japan & Korea series events:

Shape the future of the private debt by joining the most elite community in Japan

Join more than 150 Private debt senior decision-makers around the world at the PDI Tokyo Forum and seize the opportunity to share the future of the private debt while building invaluable connections with institutional investors and fund managers.

1 Ticket, 2 Forums, 200+ LPs, Unlimited Opportunities

Join both the Tokyo and Seoul Forums in the same week to maximise your time in Asia

Invigorate your fundraising strategy by spending a week with Asia’s largest and most active outbound institutional investors in Japan and Korea by purchasing a single ticket. Connect with more than 200 Japanese and Korean LPs across two industry-leading events in Tokyo (5 November) and Seoul (7 November).

If you are fundraising in Asia, do not miss the chance to meet the regions’ largest LPs this November!

Key features of the Forums:

  • More than 200 LPs in attendance across the week at a GP:LP ratio of 1:1.5
  • 14 hours+ of premium networking across the week with institutional investors, fund managers, advisors, and strategic partners
  • Unparalleled content, featuring exclusive Japanese and Korean LP insight on the private credit industry
  • New and improved networking app to connect with key targets prior to event day

Why attend both forums?

Supercharge your fundraising

Secure your next capital allocation by connecting with senior decision-makers from Japanese and Korean LPs.

Knowledge-sharing with opinion leaders

Strengthen your investment strategy by sharing ideas with the most influential debt investment community that gathers at all PDI global events.

Maximise your time and money

Take advantage of your time out of the office to gain the greatest business results possible by connecting with both of Asia’s major outbound LP communities in the space of one week.

Past attendees to Japan & Korea series events:

Our findings in 2018

Check out the key takeaways from the PDI Seoul Forum 2018 to discover the high calibre of attendees and content that takes place at a PDI conference.

Which package is for me?

Check out package options available and then secure your place today to maximise savings.

PDI Tokyo & Seoul Forums

full access

Boost your networking opportunities, and gain the best savings, by attending both the Seoul & Tokyo Forums on 5th and 7th November.


  • Access to 200+ LPs from Japan and Korea
  • Access to two days of premium content
  • 14+ hours networking with global private debt’s most influential community
  • Access to both luncheon and cocktail networking receptions in Japan and Korea
  • Dedicated networking time for intimate knowledge-sharing with like-minded individuals
  • Contact PDI Tokyo and Seoul Forum attendees before, during and after the event utilising our new and improved event app
  • Save up to US$1829.50 before 14 August 2019

PDI Tokyo Forum only

The inaugural Tokyo Forum on 5 November is a one-of-a-kind event in Japan focused on global private credit markets and outbound capital flows.


  • Connect with 100+ Japanese LPs
  • Access to one day of premium content at the ONLY dedicated private credit event in Japan
  • 7+ hours networking
  • Access to luncheon and end of day cocktail reception
  • Contact Tokyo Forum attendees before, during and after the event utilising our new and improved event app
  • Save up to US$800 before 14 August 2019

PDI Seoul Forum only

The second annual PDI Seoul Forum on 7 November is Korea’s only conference exclusively focused on global debt strategies and fundraising opportunities.


  • Connect with 100+ Korean LPs
  • Access to one day of premium content at the ONLY dedicated private debt conference in Korea
  • 7+ hours of networking
  • Access to end of day cocktail reception
  • Contact Seoul Forum attendees before, during and after the event utilising our new and improved event app
  • Save up to US$800 before 14 August 2019

Preliminary Agenda

For any enquiries, please contact Niann Lai at

Day 1
View agenda page


Day 1 - Tuesday 5th

Full day
08:30 - 09:00

Registration & networking

09:00 - 09:10

PEI welcome, opening remarks and data snapshot of global fundraising

09:10 - 09:40

Keynote presentation

09:40 - 10:10

Keynote panel: Global debt strategies under the microscope

  • How do investors view the role of private debt within the wider portfolio?
  • Addressing issues unique to debt such as tighter terms and limited deal sourcing opportunities
  • What are the most compelling funds in market, and how do they stay competitive?
  • Where are investors likely to find the returns?
10:10 - 10:40

Keynote: Getting your debt strategy right

  • Understanding different fund structures and gaining exposure across the capital stack
  • Hot strategies in focus: Distressed, mezzanine and senior debts
  • Case Study: Investing in complex debt structuring deals: The perils and the potential of the unitranche
10:40 - 11:10

Developed market focus: Where to find value in private credit?

• US, Europe & Australia: Where are these markets in the debt cycle?
• How regulations are likely to change and how they will impact manager strategies and allocations?
• How currency risk is impacting investor sentiment in these markets?
• What type of deals are currently available in these markets? What is the risk-adjusted return expectation?

11:10 - 11:40

Networking break

11:40 - 12:20

Panel: Private corporate debt – A focus on mid-market direct lending

• What are the drivers for investing in the mid-market? How does the upper and lower mid-market compare for deals, visibility, terms and returns?
• What are the trade-offs between syndicated lending and private market lending in the mid-market and SME space?
• To what extent to mid-market lending dynamics align with the overall private debt cycle?
• What are the documentation trends for mid-market transactions?

12:20 - 13:00

PDI Talk: Effective ways to manage, add value and extract maximum return from a distressed portfolio

• How are Asian or European counties dealing with their NPL issues?
• Distress and NPL exit strategies that meet return expectations: What are the available options?
• Where are we in the economic cycle and how does credit special situations change in response to the wider economic situation?

13:00 - 14:30

Networking lunch (Sponsored by HPS)

14:30 - 15:00

Panel: Strategies for successful fundraising in Japan

  • What can and cannot Japanese LPs invest into internationally
  • What is the role of asset management and securities companies in Japan and how do they work?
  • How do opportunities in private debt in Japan and compare to the rest of the Asia?
15:00 - 15:40

Panel: The rise of infrastructure debt

  • How do recent local regulations encourage Japanese investors to pursue this strategy?
  • Where are we in the debt cycle and how long can the good times last?
  • Where does infrastructure debt sit in an LPs portfolio and how does this impact return expectations?
15:40 - 16:10

Networking break

16:10 - 16:50

Panel: Investor appetite for real estate debt

  • Real estate investment as an asset class: What makes it so popular?
  • Where in their portfolio does real estate debt sit for Japanese LPs and how does this impact return expectations?
  • Debt fund and direct real estate lending opportunities in US, Europe and Australia
  • What is LPs’ appetite for real estate debt?
16:50 - 17:30

Japanese LP perspectives on private debt

  • What is giving LPs the confidence to increase allocations to private debt?
  • What are Japanese LPs’ risk appetite and geographic focus? Where on the capital stack are investors looking?
  • How to pick your fund manager: Who will manage capital the best – single strategy fund manager vs multi-asset fund manager vs multi-strategy fund manager?
  • What do Japanese investors want from their global fund managers?
17:30 - 18:30

End of forum and Cocktail (Sponsored by MGG)

Confirmed Speakers

Interested in speaking at the Forum? Please contact Ms Niann Lai at

Jingjing Bai

Advisor, Bfinance

Jingjing Bai is an advisor to bfinance in Asia since 2019, based in Hong Kong. In the recent years, Jingjing led a global alternative investment program mandated by Chinese State Owned Enterprises, covering Private Equity, Private Debt and Real Asset… Read full bio

Tom Connolly

Chief Investment Officer and Head of the Global Private Credit Group in Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division, Goldman Sachs Group

Tom Connolly is global head of the Private Credit Group within the Merchant Banking Division (MBD). He oversees the leveraged loan, mezzanine and preferred equity investing strategies, which include GS Loan Partners and the GS Mezzanine Partners Fami… Read full bio

Symon Drake-Brockman

Managing Partner, Pemberton Asset Management

Symon Drake-Brockman is the founder and Managing Partner of Pemberton Asset Management, a leading Private Credit manager in Europe. Symon has over 32 years’ experience in leading credit trading and investment businesses at RBS, ING Barings and JPMorg… Read full bio

David Forbes-Nixon

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alcentra

David is the co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alcentra. David chairs the Alcentra European Investment Committee and acts as Senior Portfolio Manager of the Special Situations business, including the Clareant Strategic Credit Fund a… Read full bio

Ian Fowler

Managing Director, Barings

Ian Fowler is Co-Head of Barings’ North American Private Finance Group, a member of the group’s North American Private Finance Investment Committee and President of Barings BDC, Inc. (NYSE: BBDC). He is responsible for leading a team that originates,… Read full bio

Andrew Hedlund

Americas Editor, Private Debt Investor

Andrew Hedlund is the Americas Editor at Private Debt Investor where he helps coordinate coverage of US private debt markets and also writes and reports about all aspects of the asset class. Before joining PDI, he wrote for The Deal and Reorg Researc… Read full bio

Takeshi Ito

Senior Investment Officer & Chief Operation Officer, AISIN Employees' Pension Fund

Takeshi Ito is the Senior Investment Officer of AISIN Employees' Pension Fund. Ito has been supervising the investment and management of the pension’s funds since 1998 when he joined Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. Ito started his career at Nomura Investment M… Read full bio

Yoshifumi Kida

Manager for Foreign Equity and Alternative Investment Department, Nippon Life Insurance

Yoshifumi Kida is manager for infrastructure and farmland fund investment at Nippon Life from July 2017. Prior to the firm, he worked for Asset Management One, investment arm of Mizuho Financial Group. He played wide variety roles there from equity a… Read full bio

Yoshi Kiguchi

Chief Investment Officer, West Japan Metal and Machinery Pension Fund

Yoshi Kiguchi is CIO of West Japan Metal and Machinery Pension Fund in Japan. Yoshi focuses innovative asset strategies and products with the investment term structures. He has more than 25 years of experience in investment and risk management. He is… Read full bio

Adalla Kim

Reporter, Private Debt Investor

Adalla Kim is a Reporter for Private Debt Investor at PEI Alternative Insight, where she covers private debt investments across Asia Pacific. She joined from a Financial Times publication, having covered Korean institutional investments across asset… Read full bio

Janghwan Lee

Executive Director, Team Leader of Alternative Investment Team, LOTTE Insurance

Janghwan Lee has led alterative investment team in Lotte non-life insurance company covering real estate, infrastructure, acquisition financing, aviation, private debt and private equity. He has led a couple of landmark deals in alternative investmen… Read full bio

Kazuo Nishimura

Chief Product Strategist, Nomura Funds Research and Technologies

Kazuo Nishimura has been working in Private Equity gatekeeper industry in 16 years since he joined Nomura Group in 2002. Before joining Nomura, he worked for Fuji Bank (current Mizuho Financial Group) and was mainly involved in derivatives business a… Read full bio

Michael Patterson

Governing Partner, HPS Investment Partners

Michael Patterson is a Governing Partner of HPS Investment Partners and is the Portfolio Manager for the Specialty Loan Funds and Core Senior Lending Funds. He joined HPS in 2007, establishing the European business before returning to the United Stat… Read full bio

Art Penn

Founder and Managing Partner, PennantPark Investment Advisers

Arthur H. Penn is the Founder and Managing Partner of PennantPark Investment Advisers. He has over 30 years of experience in the middle market direct lending, mezzanine lending, leveraged finance, distressed debt, and private equity businesses. Art h… Read full bio

Greg Racz

Co-founder and President, MGG Investment Group

Updated bio coming soon.

Adam Ruggiero

Managing Director, MetLife Investment Management

Adam Ruggiero is a Managing Director with MetLife Investment Management (MIM) Real Estate. He actively monitors global markets, oversees the strategy development and structuring of new investment vehicles, and serves as a member of the Equity Investm… Read full bio

Daichi Suzuki

Deputy General Manager, Alternative Investment Group, Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management

Mr. Suzuki joined Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management in 2014 and is a Deputy General Manager at Alternative Investment Department. The Department covers private asset areas such as Private Equity, Infrastructure Real Estate & ILS. He is a founding m… Read full bio

Hisanori Takata

Senior Portfolio Manager & Executive Adviser to the Provost of Finance, Tokyo University of Science

Hisanori Takata is a Senior Portfolio Manager and an Executive Adviser to the Provost of Finance at Tokyo University of Science. He is also a Co-founder and a Managing Partner for Tokyo University of Science Innovation Capital. Before joining Tokyo U… Read full bio
View all speakers

Partner with the PDI Tokyo Forum

The PDI Tokyo Forum 2019 will offer a unique opportunity for organisations to raise their profile among 150+ senior private debt decision-makers across the world.

For exclusive sponsorship package for the PDI Tokyo Forum 2019, please contact sponsorship team at, call +852 2153 3846.

Contact us

Private Debt Investor Conferences

Japan’s Chikyoren to hire private debt managers for the first time

The $217bn public pension fund is adding private corporate debt to its portfolio as part of a five percent allocation to global alternatives.
By Adalla Kim | 20 July 2018

Japan’s Pension Fund Association for Local Government Officials, known locally as Chikyoren, has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) as it searches for private debt, infrastructure, real estate, and private equity investment managers in Japan and overseas, according to its latest announcement. The RFP includes the first mandate dedicated to private debt investments.

Chikyoren is looking to invest in both domestic and offshore private debt via asset managers. Qualifying managers should have assets under management of over 100 billion yen ($885 million; €762 million) as of end-March, including the amount managed via trust accounts, the announcement states.

A senior investment officer overseeing the hiring process told PDI that Chikyoren is looking for private corporate debt opportunities both in the US and Europe.

Its prospective total commitment to alternatives will be made from one of two accounts being managed by the association. “The size of this capital pool accounts for five percent of our total assets under management,” the officer noted.

Its current exposure to alternatives stands at 0.4 percent, while the maximum allocation for alternatives is set at five percent of total assets – representing about 1.2 trillion yen ($10.7 billion; €9.1 billion) of its 23 trillion yen in total assets under management, as of end-March (the fiscal year 2017 ends on 27 March).

Further details regarding selection process and return expectations were not disclosed. There is no set deadline for submission of proposals nor a pre-determined commitment size for each mandate.

Chikyoren’s manager registration system operates on a rolling basis, similar to that of its larger peer, the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) of Japan, which accepts proposals all year round and makes investment decisions accordingly.

It has gained exposure to illiquid credit via infrastructure debt and real estate debt investments.

Between June 2016 and March 2018, Chikyoren invested a total of 18.3 billion yen through four overseas infrastructure mandates, according to its latest annual report available only in Japanese.

These include a 3.4 billion yen commitment to Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Bank targeting European regulated assets, which delivered an annualised return of five percent in the fiscal year 2017.

A 3.5 billion yen mandate with JPMorgan Asset Management to invest in core infrastructure in OECD countries delivered an annualised return of 10.3 percent, while a 1.5 billion yen investment with Tokio Marine Asset Management targeting Australian assets, had generated a negative annualised return of 1.42 percent between July 2017 and March 2018.

The largest mandate of 9.9 billion yen landed with Mizuho Global Alternative Investments to invest in infrastructure debt globally. That had delivered a return of 0.77 percent during the last fiscal year.

The public pension has also awarded five real estate mandates for overseas and domestic investments and two domestic private equity mandates over the past two years.

Chikyoren manages the second largest pension pool in Japan after after the $1.4 trillion sized GPIF. Its assets come from pension reserves for members of local government organisations. It is the first among public pensions to issue an RFP for alternative investments in a bid to diversify its portfolio from a long-term investment perspective.

Why more Japanese investors are demanding real asset loans

These institutions prefer floating rate-based loans to mitigate foreign currency hedging risks.
By Adalla Kim | 3 August 2018

More Japanese institutions are part of the alternative credit landscape this year.

Following Pension Fund Association for Local Government Officials’ announcement last month regarding its planned debut in private corporate debt investment, the world’s largest pension fund, Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), confirmed to PDI this week that it has existing exposure to alternative lending via a trust account.

GPIF’s commitment, sized at ¥8.2 billion ($73.4 million; €63.4 million), is for a direct co-investment along with International Finance Corporation and Development Bank of Japan, according to a spokesperson from the pension administrator.

It classifies this investment as an international equity allocation given its asset mix criteria as the commitment is held in a trust. A senior officer from IFC Asset Management Company declined to disclose details on investment targets and the name of the vehicle.

Regardless of which classification investors choose to record their investments, one notable theme seen among Japanese institutions that PDI spoke with is that they prefer lending against real asset collateral when making alternative credit investments.

“We are interested in real asset loans such as project-based debt financing,” said a senior offshore alternative investment officer from a Japanese institution who asked not to be named. He added that to achieve higher returns from private credit markets, his organization had chosen real estate debt and infra debt strategies.

Another example is Japan Post Bank, one of the two units of Japan Post Holdings, a holding company overseeing postal, banking, and insurance businesses. Its current alternative credit investment exposure includes mezzanine debt, distressed debt, infrastructure debt, and real estate debt fund commitments.

PDI understands that Japan Post Bank prefers non-recourse loans for real asset debt strategies as the bank seeks low correlation with systematic risk and underwriting based on the projected cash flow from specific transactions only.

Japan Post Bank also disclosed its existing exposure to senior secured direct lending funds, according to its latest mid-term management plan published on 15 May. It revealed to Private Equity International, a sister publication of Private Debt Investor, in March that it will focus on the US and European direct lending markets to seek a meaningful liquidity premium in exchange for the risk.

Although detailed figures were not disclosed, the bank plans to ramp up its alternative investments, targeting four percent of its total investment portfolio by end-March 2021.

Japan Post Bank’s alternative exposure is sized at 8.5 trillion yen ($76.1 billion; €65.5 billion) or one percent of its total portfolio assets as of end-March, according to the material.


Infrastructure debt is an asset class that has been attracting Japanese investors for the last five years.

Most recently, Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, known as one of the most active Japanese institutions in alternative investments among its peer group, disclosed its anchor commitment of £70 million (¥10 billion; $92.4 million) to M&G Infrastructure Loan Fund.

The loan fund is a European infrastructure debt fund launched in March, targeting project finance loans and bonds for public-private partnerships (PPP) and infrastructure projects in Europe.

Jack Wang, a fund manager at Mizuho Global Alternative Investment, a Tokyo-based investment arm of Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group told PDI in April that it is possible for investment managers to mitigate cyclicality of the global credit market at a degree by investing in assets with long-term contracts with strong counter parties.

A deputy general manager in the offshore alternative investment team from a Japanese insurance firm told PDI that the insurer has committed to infrastructure debt, mezzanine debt, and direct lending strategies. He added that it has been expanding its investment in alternative investments to generate yield amid the low interest rate environment.

However, there are at least two aspects of infrastructure debt investment that investors should be especially careful about. “We should assess how vulnerable the project itself would be and what the structure of these projects is like in the initial stages,” Wang added.

According to a director of a Japanese institution who oversees offshore alternative investments, the biggest concern he has when looking at investment opportunities is the cost of hedging the Japanese yen against foreign currencies, adding that, whether or not general partners can provide a forex hedging solution is an important consideration.

Two industry practitioners told PDI that now, investors have to discount as much as 200 or 250 basis points on foreign currency exchange risk against the US dollar. “That is a significant effect on our investment returns,” one source added.

Given this, Japanese investors are watching out for US interest rate changes given that the foreign currency hedging cost results from a gap in the interest rates between the two countries. This has implications for the higher return expectations from overseas investment among Japanese institutions.

“Almost all Japanese investors have exposure [to these assets] in [Japanese] yen. They prefer a floating rate-based return structure as this feature can naturally hedge some of the costs borne by currency hedging,” Wang said.

Two Forums, Unlimited Opportunities

Join the Seoul Forum and maximise your time in Asia

The second PDI Seoul Forum returns on 7 November 2019 with more than 100+ influential Korean outbound investors and fund managers in ONE room. If fundraising is your core business, do not miss the chance to meet both Japanese and Korean LPs in the same week.



Korean Investors that attended last year

Dongbu Fire Insurance
GIC Real Estate
Government Employees Pension Service (GEPS)
Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance
KB Insurance
KB Kookmin Bank
KDB Life
KEB Hana Bank
Khazanah Nasional Berhad
Korea Fire Officials Credit Union
Korea Investment & Securities
Korea Investment Corporation
Korea Investment Security
Korea Post
Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives
KYOBO Life Insurance
Lotte Insurance
Meritz Fire Insurance
Meritz Insurance
MG Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives
Military Mutual Aid Association
Mirae Asset Life Insurance
National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF)
National Credit Union of Korea (Shinhyup)
National Pension Service (NPS)
NH Life
Public Officials Benefit Association (POBA)
Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance
Samsung Life Insurance
Savings Bureau Korea Post
Shinhan Investment
Shinhan Life Insurance
Teachers' Pension
The Bank of Korea
The Korean Teachers' Credit Union
The Police Mutual Aid Association

Learn more about their strategy

KIC’s chief risk officer and executive vice-president, Seung Je Hong, told PDI: “I think the alternative investment industry is not standardised enough, and therefore it is perceived to be risky when making investment decisions by comparing return profiles with a GP’s peer group or their track records.

What's the key in infrastructure debt

Check out the key takeaways from Infrastructure Investor Seoul Summit and find out the current state of Korean investors