Dai-ichi Life bets on ASEAN SMEs

Dai-ichi Life Insurance company has re-upped its commitment to New Jersey-based private equity firm Exacta Capital Partners which invests in small and medium enterprises in the region.

Japan’s largest listed insurer, Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, has made a $30 million commitment to Exacta Asia Investment II, a fund managed by New Jersey-based Exacta Capital Partners, according to a statement.

The firm held a first close earlier this month on $180 million, against a $250 million target. Mizuho Bank, which holds up to 30 percent of Exacta, will invest as much as $100 million to the fund. Development finance institutions in Germany and France DEG-Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft and Proparco- Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Economique are also limited partners in the fund, according to a statement.

Similar to its predecessor, the 2013-vintage, $200 million Mizuho ASEAN PE Fund, capital from the fund will be used to back small and medium enterprises in the ASEAN region and to boost business partnerships between Japanese and investee companies.

Dai-ichi Life has approximately ¥50 trillion ($450 billion; €377 billion) of consolidated net assets according to its 2016 annual report. It is unclear how much the insurer allocates to alternative assets but it has previously backed funds of funds, private equity buyout funds, mezzanine/debt funds as well as secondaries, distressed and venture capital funds in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Dai-ichi Life has made commitments to EQT, Apax Partners, Montagu Private Equity and Mizuho Asia Partners, according to PEI data. Dai-ichi Life also contributed to the International Financial Corporation’s (IFC) Financial Institutions Growth Fund, which invests alongside the development institution in the financial services sector in emerging markets, including frontier markets.

In January this year Dai-ichi Life told PEI it started investing in emerging markets and expects to increase its allocation in next two years. Along with this additional focus, it will mainly invest in western Europe and North America.