Malaysia’s EPF To Expand in PE

The Malaysian government’s pension program, Employees Provident Fund (EPF), is preparing to expand its private equity investment program by committing an additional 5% of its assets to alternative investments, PE Week has learned.

Rita Benoy Bushon, general manager of EPF’s private equity division, says that to date EPF has focused on international funds-of-funds, syndicated funds and the few major domestic firms in Malaysia, such as Navis, but that EPF is seeking a wider exposure as it moves forward.

Indeed, it’s an important announcement for venture and buyout firms in Asia.

EPF is the world’s 21st largest pension fund, with about $65 billion of assets under management. The pension was established as a mandatory contribution annuity fund in 1959 and today represents almost 10 million pensioners.

The program’s investment model is similar to that of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and Singapore’s Government Investment Corporation. EPF has had exposure to private equity over the last several years, investing $288 million in 14 funds since 1996. Bushon predicts another outlay of about $255 million by her group to new funds in the upcoming year.