APG taps former MetLife director to lead Asian PE activity

The Dutch pension manager has a more than $25bn private equity portfolio.

APG Asset Management, a subsidiary of the Netherlands’ largest pension fund, has appointed a former MetLife director to lead its Asia-Pacific private equity activity.

Shirley Ma will serve as senior portfolio manager in Hong Kong, according to a statement. She was previously director of private equity Asia in Metlife’s Hong Kong office.

APG oversees around €500 billion in assets for Dutch pensions and manages a global private equity portfolio of more than $25 billion. Last year it began building an in-house secondaries team in New York.

Asia is a growing area of focus for limited and general partners because of its strong macro fundamentals, increasingly wealthy and tech-savvy millennials and business owners’ growing acceptance of private equity.

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the US’s second-largest public pension fund, could double or triple its less than $2 billion exposure to Asia in the next three to five years, chief investment officer Christopher Ailman told Private Equity International in May last year. Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois said in August it will focus on Asia next year as part of its private equity tactical plan.

KKR plans to deploy bigger pools of capital in Asia this year, calling the region its “first priority” for the year. Warburg Pincus has more than doubled the target for its latest Asia-focused private equity fund as it joins a growing number of players bullish on South-East Asia.