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Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) has named ex-Goldman banker Eiji Ueda as its new Chief Investment Officer and Director, replacing Hiro Mizuno, whose term finished yesterday.
52-year-old Ueda, who was most recently co-head of Asia-Pacific Securities at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong, took office today.
He was appointed by incoming president Masataka Miyazono, a former Norinchukin Bank executive and the President of Japan’s Corporate Pension Association, after approval from the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Katsunobu Kato.
Eyes will be on Ueda to see what his appointment means for Mizuno’s legacy of ESG and long-term capital market sustainability.
Under Mizuno, who became GPIF's first CIO in January 2015, the world’s largest pension fund saw one of the biggest ever portfolio overhauls by a pension fund, involving a doubling of domestic and international equities, shifting billions to ESG indices, and an explicit strategy of investing in long-term sustainable assets, alongside a highly active corporate governance policy.
In his long career at Goldman, which he joined in 1991 after graduating from the University of Tokyo, Ueda was seen as internationally minded, and is expected to bring extensive global financial knowledge and contacts to GPIF. However, he has no public track record in sustainable finance.
After working at the US Treasury Desk at the bank’s New York branch, in 2009 he became co-head of fixed income, currencies, and commodities, before being named co-head of Asia-Pacific Securities alongside James Paradise in 2012, relocating from Tokyo to Hong Kong, a position he held until last February.