Dai-ichi Life to launch in-house structured finance team

Insurer plans to strengthen its activities in project financing.

Japan-based Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company has told PDI that its new department, which is to be launched on 1 April, will aim to develop the company’s in-house capability for corporate and structured financing.

The firm announced on 22 February that the team would be led by Tetsuya Kikuta. From April, he will oversee the investment planning department, the corporate and structured finance department, and the real estate department. Kikuta has been managing executive officer and chief general manager of investment since last year.

The organisational change comes as the insurer plans to further strengthen its expertise and flexibility in the field of project finance, in which it has invested both in Japan and overseas.

Dai-ichi Life said that it had invested this month in a railway development project in Peru, the first direct investment from the firm into an overseas project bond. It did not disclose the size of the commitment.

Dai-ichi Life has been ramping up its offshore real asset debt investment since 2017. It anchored the M&G Infrastructure Loan Fund, with a commitment of £70 million ($92.7 million; €81.9 million). It made a follow-on commitment in 2018 of 20 billion yen ($179.1 million; €158.2 million) to the Cosmic Blue PF series, which is managed by Japanese fund manager Asset Management One (formerly known as Mizuho Global Alternative Investments). to the predecessor fund, Cosmic Blue PF Trust Lily, in 2016.

The insurer provided senior debt to finance acquisitions for the UK’s high-speed rail operation consortium, High Speed 1, sponsored by InfraRed Capital Partners.