Japan > Managing Directors
- Akihiro Watanabe
- Hiroyasu Kato
- Shogo Nakamura
- Koji Sasayama
- Gen Takahashi
- Naohisa Fukutani
- Sachio Kuninori
- Nobuhiko Masuto
- Isao Okubo
- Akikazu Ida
- Hideo Nagura
- Ritsuko Nonomiya
Aki Watanabe is a Representative Director of GCA Savvian Corporation. He has more than 25 years of investment banking experience, providing advice in over 1,000 M&A transactions. Notable deals include: consolidation of the thermal power business between Hitachi Ltd and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Advantest’s acquisition of Verigy, capital alliance between Nikko Cordial Group and Citigroup, JVC and Kenwood merger, Ricoh’s acquisition of IBM printing solutions subsidiary, Japan Tobacco’s acquisition of Torii Pharmaceutical and Katokichi, Sankyo and Daiichi Pharmaceutical merger, Green Cross and Yoshitomi Pharmaceutical merger, Matsushita Electric’s (currently Panasonic) acquisition and subsequent sale of MCA, delisting of Matsushita subsidiaries, restructuring of Matsushita Investment & Development, US On Semiconductor’s acquisition of Sanyo Electric semiconductor division, Carlyle’s sale of the pharmaceutical capsule business to Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, TDK’s sale of its US semiconductor company to Texas Instruments and TDK’s acquisition of Headway, Itochu’s acquisition of Leilian, Sankei’s acquisition of apparel brands, among others.
Mr. Watanabe is a board member and chairman of the auditing committee at Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd (owned by Daiichi Sankyo Pharmaceutical) and outside director of US oil & gas company Samson Investment Company (owned by KKR and Itochu) and Qualicaps Co Ltd the second largest global producer of pharmaceutical capsules (owned by Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings). He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Valuation Standards Council and the advisor to NTT Docomo’s oversea headquarter unit. He is a visiting professor at the MBA program of Kobe University, postgraduate law school of Hitotsubashi University and Chuo Graduate School of Strategic Management of Chuo University (M&A strategy).
He is also well published on M&A and related topics. He received his BA in Commerce and Accounting from Chuo University. He is a CPA in Japan and US.
1980/ Heiwa Auditing Corporation, 1982/ Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. (current KPMG LLP) NY Office, 1994/ Representative Director of KPMG Corporate Finance K.K., April 2002/ Founded GCA K. K., 2006/ Listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers market (advanced to First Section status in September 2012), 2008/ Management integration with US Savvian, assumed Representative Director of GCA Savvian Corporation.
Hiroyasu Kato is a Managing Director of GCA Savvian Corporation,the Representative Director of DCo Corporation , the Representative Partner of DCo Tax Corporation and the Director of GCA Savvian China Co.,Ltd. He has extensive experience in all phases of the M&A transaction including business valuation, structuring, accounting & tax assessment, business restructuring, negotiation of terms and conditions and due diligence for domestic and cross-border acquisitions. In the area of valuation, he is well qualified to provide fairness opinions, calculations of merger and share exchange ratios, and intangible asset valuations. As Hiroyasu Kato is certified as a CPA in both Japan and the U.S., he is able to offer the skills of an accountant as well as an investment banker.
In 1992, he started his career in audit in New York with KPMG, where he provided audit services to Japanese companies and also advised Japanese companies on the establishment of U.S. joint ventures. In 1998, he returned to Japan and joined KPMG Corporate Finance where he specialized in M&A and transaction advisory related services.
He has experience in a wide range of industries from manufacturing, wholesale, retail, automobile components, pharmaceuticals, and media. He has specialized experienced in the acquisition of brand apparel, shoes, handbags and accessories. Key transactions include the acquisition of luxury brand business and merchandise licenses of Hunting World, Bally, Chrome Hearts, Paul Smith and others by ITOCHU Corporation, the acquisition of sales agencies in Oceania area by Fuji Photo Films, the acquisition of SII compressor business by Calsonic, the acquisition of Two Wheels Manufacturing JV Company in Indonesia by Honda Motor Co., Ltd. in conjunction with Astra, the transfer of electricity transformation operations from Hitachi, Fuji Electric and Meidensha to Japan AE Power Systems, and the acquisition Asahi Kasei by Japan Tobacco.
Hiroyasu Kato is frequent lecturer at M&A seminars and contributes articles to M&A magazines. He is a part-time instructor at Kobe University. Hiroyasu Kato graduated from Kansai University, where he majored in Commerce.
Shogo Nakamura is a Managing Director of GCA Savvian Corporation. He has an extensive background in capital markets, both in debt and equity financing as well as in M&A. Between 1988～1992, he led over 20 issues of equity financing of both Japanese and non-Japanese companies’ OTC listings. In 1993, he was actively involved in both equity and debt financing as the head of corporate relationships in the Capital Markets Department of Mitsubishi Securities. In 1995, he was selected to head the Investment Banking Business Development Department and was responsible for the growth of the M&A, securitization, investor relations and private banking businesses, which developed into independent units. He was responsible for overseeing M&A, acquisition financing and TOB deal flow of over 200 deals a year as well as managing a team of over 100 people. In his role, his company achieved the No.1 position in terms of number of deals and No.3 in terms of aggregate transaction amount in 2005.
Prior to joining GCA, Shogo Nakamura had an extensive career with Mitsubishi Securities, which he first joined the Capital Markets Group in 1993. He was promoted to lead the Investment Banking Business Development in 1996 and subsequently promoted to a lead position in the M&A Group in 2004. Previously, he gained significant capital markets experience at Kokusai Securities in underwriting, where he was involved in providing financing for listed companies. He began his career with Sumitomo Mutual Life.
Recent transactions include the capital participation into Takara by Index, the merger of Takara and Tomy, the management integration of Coca Cola West Japan and Kinki Coca Cola, the capital participation into OMC card by Acom, the capital participation into Sega by Sammy, and the acquisition of Nissho Interlife by Sammy. He executed the then revolutionary 70% control premium TOB of Kanematsu and Unidax’s strategic alliance. Other deals that he has played a central role in include: the acquisition of Tokyo Biso Kogyo Corporation by U.S. Johnson Controls, the acquisition of Jareco by Hong Kong’s Pacific Century Cyberworks, and the capital participation in Kraft, Sugi Yakkoyku and Drug Eleven by Jusco (the current Aeon Group).
Shogo Nakamura graduated from Doshisha University, with a degree in Economics.
Koji Sasayama is a Managing Director of Mezzanine Corporation. He has had an extensive career in both investment banking and acquisition financing. He has been a pioneer of the acquisition finance business in Japan executing many transactions that were the first of their kind. For example, he conducted the first short-term bridge financing for the TOB of Daimon (the current Mine Mart) in 2000 by Unison Capital in Japan along with the long-term permanent financing to replace it after the target company went private and the inter-creditor agreement between mezzanine investors and senior lenders. He has structured and executed various types of financing arrangements and has worked on deals from origination, through evaluation, execution, and syndication. He continues to focus on developing and maintaining relationships with corporations and private equity funds in order to generate opportunities for the acquisition finance business.
Prior to joining Mezzanine Corporation, he worked at the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan (Currently Shinsei Bank) where he began his career in the M&A division and was engaged in cross-border M&A advisory services related to the acquisitions of hotels and resorts abroad. In 1993, while he was in Chicago, he started providing corporate finance services to U.S. companies. He was transferred to New York in 1995 and became involved in acquisition financing for LBO and MBO transactions. He also took part in the investment of limited partnerships of private equity funds. Through his experience and involvement in the acquisition financing business in the U.S., he was exposed to many transactions across a diverse range of industries. Upon returning to Japan, he joined the Industrial Bank of Japan (currently Mizuho Corporate Bank) where he started the bank's acquisition finance business.
Significant financings include the 2003 acquisition financing of over 200 billion yen for the first Japanese mega LBO transaction, the acquisition of Japan Telecom by Ripplewood (the current RHJ International). He also led the financing arrangement of the acquisition of Shaklee Japan and Shaklee U.S., a multinational / multicurrency acquisition finance in 2004. In 2006, he provided one-stop services, providing both the mezzanine financing and senior debt financing, for the second MBO for Shinwa by CVC Asia Pacific.
He jointly published “M&A Finance ” in 2006, the first book in Japan related to acquisition financing.
He is a frequent lecturer on M&A financing and often contributes articles related to M&A financing. Koji Sasayama received his MBA from The Johnson School of Cornell University in 1993. He received B.A. in Economics from Keio University.
Gen Takahashi is a Managing Director of GCA Savvian Corporation. He has been engaged in the M&A advisory business since 1995 and has been involved in numerous M&A transactions. He has significant experience in business revitalization transactions and has advised on many deals for the Industry Revitalization Corporation of Japan.
Prior to joining GCA, Gen Takahashi worked in investing banking at Daiwa Securities SMBC and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. Gen Takahashi authored “M&A for Corporate Revitalization” which was published in the M&A Review in 2003.
His main advisory experience includes: the business transfer of Crown Leasing (a leasing company affiliated with Nippon Credit Bank which was the first landmark restructuring in Japan), the business transfer of Okura Shoji (a general trading company), the business transfer of RDS to Toshiba Lighting and Technology (the first deal in Japan as a business transfer of companies under Japan’s Civil Rehabilitation Law), the business transfer of Hitachi Seiki by Mori Seiki, the capital infusion of Dac Vivre, capital decrease and increase of STT Development, and the underwriting of capital for DIA Construction by Leopalace 21.
Gen Takahashi graduated from Sophia University, Japan, where he majored in Portuguese.
Naohisa Fukutani is a Managing Director of GCA Savvian Corporation. He has been involved in many large-scale cross-border transactions in Asia, the U.S. and Europe over his 20-year career in investment banking and international business. As a partner of GCA, he currently focuses on sourcing, negotiating and executing deals for companies in a broad range of industries. With international work experience in Japan, Asia and the US, he brings significant insight and expertise to cross-border M&A transactions between Japanese companies and companies located around the world. In addition, he has specialized experience in executing complex “intra-Asia” deals including financial restructurings and sales/purchases of distressed assets.
Prior to joining GCA, Naohisa Fukutani worked for Daiwa Securities SMBC. During his Daiwa career, he was sent to Singapore, where he was in charge of Asian M&A deals for the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Daiwa Securities Group as the Head of Corporate Finance Department. He advised Japanese firms such as Ajinomoto, Kyocera Mita and NYK Lines in the region as well as local companies in both public & private sectors in the semiconductor manufacturing, cement, banking, and retailing industries in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, HK, and Korea. In addition, he supervised a number of Asia Pacific listing projects including Singapore Post's (semi-public postal service company) POWL (Public Offering Without Listing), the first Singaporean company to do such an offering in Japan.
Naohisa Fukutani has been involved in a number of high-profile transactions. He was involved in the landmark 350 billion yen asset sale of Crown Leasing Corporation, a subsidiary of Nippon Credit Bank (currently know as Aozora Bank), that went bankrupt in 1997 with over 1 trillion yen in debt (the largest bankruptcy in history at that time). In New York, he was involved in M&A transactions of large multi-national companies such as Mannesmann and Motorola. He has also executed M&A deals for Japanese companies such as Toshiba, Brother Industries, Nisshinbo, Orix and Daiwa House. Recently, he has been involved in developing a takeover defence strategy for a number of TSE listed companies.
In 1999, he had the opportunity to work in New York as Sakura Bank's (the current Sumitomo Mitsui Bank) Chief Representative of Investment Banking Division Company and he was responsible for planning and executing M&A transactions. Prior to this, Naohisa Fukutani worked in investment banking at Sakura in Tokyo, after he served in the area of loan syndications at Mitsui Bank, the forerunner of Sakura. He started his career at The United Nations (Secretariat of International Year of Peace) in New York.
Naohisa Fukutani performed as a guest lecturer at many prestigious universities such as Hitotsubashi, Waseda, Kyoto, Kobe, Chuo, etc. He is also a frequent contributor to M&A publications. He jointly published "Case studies: M&A White Book for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Japan," “A complete guide for Hostile Takeover Defense,” “Invisible risks in Asia,” and so on.
Naohisa Fukutani received his MBA from Columbia University, a Masters degree in political science from Ohio State University and an LLM from University of Tsukuba. He received his undergraduate liberal arts degree from International Christian University.
Sachio Kuninori is a Managing Director of GCA Savvian Corporation.
He has more than 25 years of financial services and investment banking experience in both Japan and the US. Prior to GCA Savvian in February 2008, Sachio Kuninori was General Manager of Investment Banking Credit Division of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and was responsible for making credit decisions for investment banking related transactions, which included project finance, LBO/MBO finance, asset securitization transaction, trade finance, loan underwriting, etc. He was also responsible for managing investment banking related loan portfolio totaling more than US$30 billion.
He has been engaged in wide range of investment banking related activities for more than 25 years after joining the Bank of Tokyo, Ltd. Sachio started his M&A advisory career in early 80's mainly focusing on cross border transactions and advised leading Japanese companies on a number of M&A transactions. Sachio was Senior Vice President of BTMU Capital, where he played a key role in expanding the business globally in the area of equipment and aircraft engine leasing as well as in securitization and syndication activities.
Sachio Kuninori completed his Masters in Business Administration degree at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the University of Tokyo where he majored in law.
Nobuhiko Masuto is a Managing Director of GCA Savvian Corporation.
For over 20 years, Nobuhiko Masuto has been involved in a wide range of corporate finance activities including investment banking, private equity and structured financing in Japan, the U.S. and Europe. He has extensive experience in advising on M&A, IPO, private placement and LBO financing transactions and also has principal experience in equity and mezzanine investments. He has led the origination and execution of both cross-border M&A transactions as well as Japanese domestic deals.
Prior to joining GCA Savvian, Nobuhiko Masuto worked at Ripplewood Japan where he was responsible for origination and execution of buyout transactions. He was also heavily involved in post-acquisition management through his management roles in Ripplewood portfolio companies. Prior to joining Ripplewood, Nobuhiko Masuto worked as an investment banker for Daiwa Securities and Sumitomo Bank (currently known as Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation) Tokyo. During his career, he had the opportunity to establish Japan Equity Capital Inc., a private equity firm sponsored by Daiwa Securities SMBC, Sumitomo Corporation and GE Capital. Additionally, with Sumitomo, he spent over 8 years in London, focusing upon cross-border M&A transactions between Europe and Japan/U.S. and structured finance transactions for U.K. and Swiss blue-chip companies and municipals. He also spent time in the U.S., having been seconded to Robertson Stephens & Co. in San Francisco where he focused on the technology sector investment banking.
Recently, Nobuhiko Masuto represented All Nippon Airways in its investment in Skynet Asia Airways, the management team of Omron Entertainment Inc. in its MBO, and Matsuzakaya (a major Japanese department store) in its corporate defense actions against a hostile takeover by an activist fund. He has also led many successful large scale cross-border M&A transactions including TDK Co. Ltd.’s acquisition of Silicon Systems (a U.S. semiconductor manufacturer acquired through TOB), Sumitomo Heavy Industries’ acquisition of Lumonics (a Canadian laser technology company acquired through TOB), a Japanese trading company’s acquisition of Argo-Tech (a U.S. aircraft pump manufacturer through a consortium with Vester Capital) and Nippon Paint’s shareholding realignment with its U.S. joint venture partner.
He is a visiting instructor at Kobe University’s business school and often is a speaker at M&A and private equity related seminars. He holds the Authorized Sales Representative and Internal Administrator certification issued by the Japanese Securities Dealers Association (“JSDA”) and the Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) in the U.K.
Nobuhiko Masuto completed his Masters in Finance degree at the London Business School, University of London, and received his undergraduate degree from Keio University, where he majored in Law.
Isao Okubo is a Managing Director of GCA Savvian Corporation. He has been engaged in the M&A advisory business since 1996. He has significant experience in cross-border M&A transactions for manufacturing companies.
Before joining GCA, he was a senior vice president in the Strategic Advisory Department of Daiwa SMBC, which he joined in 2002. Prior to joining Daiwa, he worked in the M&A Group at Sakura Bank (currently Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation). At Sakura Bank he worked in several departments, including Aircraft Financing, foreign exchange and lending.
Advisory deals include the business transfer of Crown Leasing (the largest bankruptcy deal in Japan at the time), the sale of the Grand Hyatt in Seoul, the sale of a US magnetic iron oxide manufacturer, the acquisition of a shipbuilding business of Niigata Engineering, the sale of a Japanese automotive parts manufacturer, the acquisition of a LCD manufacturing machine maker, the sale of a Japan business owned by a major US PE fund, the acquisition of a ticketing machine business of a telecom equipment company, the sale of Thai subsidiary of a Japanese electric maker, and the sale of a financial consulting company.
Isao Okubo received his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Tokyo where he studied law.
Akikazu "Kaz" Ida is a Managing Director at GCA Savvian Corporation. He has more than 13 years of investment banking experience focusing on TMT (Technology, Media and Telecoms) sector, and more than 26 years of Technology and Telecom industry exposure.
Prior to joining GCA Savvian in 2013, Kaz was Managing Director and Head of Japan TMT Group at UBS Investment Bank where he was responsible in serving Japan’s leading technology/telecom/media companies, and led/executed a number of M&A and Financing transactions for Japanese and international clients.
Kaz has a wide range of M&A transaction experience, dealing with counterparts in more than 10 countries, and with types of transactions including acquisition, divestiture, merger, curve-out, public and private transactions, minority investment, leveraged buy-out, distressed and semi-distressed situations etc. On top of M&A advisory, he also has full range of Investment Banking services experience, and has led a variety of Equity and Debt financing transactions for Japanese TMT clients.
Before UBS, Kaz worked for Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW) where he focused on M&A advisory business. Earlier in his career, Kaz worked 13 years for NTT Data, a leading Japanese IT service provider, in various positions including corporate planning and new business development.
Kaz graduated from Hitotsubashi University with a BA, and received his MBA, with Dean's High Honor, from the University of Chicago
In the decade from 1995 to 2005, Mr. Nagura advised on over 100 cross-border M&A transactions. Among his numerous transactions are the global alliance formed between Mitsubishi Materials and Alcatel, the MBO of an American firm by the Okura Corp., the sale of an American subsidiary of the Pokka Corporation to the Coca-Cola Corporation,
the sale of a semiconductor plant in Oregon, USA by Fujitsu, the sale of the Power Tools Division of Ryobi Limited and Murata Manufacturing’s acquisition of Sychip, Inc. His work also includes extensive advisory towards foreign corporations, such as advisory towards French hotel giant Accor and towards Singaporean government investment
institution Pidemco Land. In 2005, Mr. Nagura was a Team Head in the Corporate Advisory Division, specializing in originating and executing cross-border M&A transactions.
Prior to joining GCA Savvian, Mr. Nagura was a Managing Director and Head of M&A and Financial Sponsors Group at UBS. He was also in charge of financial sponsors and trading companies at UBS. During his years at UBS, he has completed numerous transactions including: Mitsubishi Corp.’s investment in Northern Dynasty Minerals, Palace Capitals’ acquisition of Patlite, the sale of NH Techno Glass acquired by the Carlyle Group, Bain Capital’s acquisition of Bellsystem 24, KDDI’s strategic investment in J:Com, Sumitomo Corp.'s investment in Press Metal Sarawak, Innovation Corportaion of Japan (INCJ)’s joint acquisition of Landis + Gyr with Toshiba, Dai Nippon Printing’s strategic investment in Nihon Unisys, and Carlyle’ sale of Qualicaps to Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings.
Mr. Nagura received his BA in International Affairs from Lewis & Clark College in 1988.
Ritsuko Nonomiya is a Managing Director at GCA Savvian Corporation. She has been focusing on M&A for over 20 years with 15 years of M&A advisory experience and 5 years of portfolio management track record as principle.
Prior to joining GCA Savvian in 2013, Ritsuko spent most of the 5 years at General Electric (GE) as Business Development (BD) Leader for GE Capital Asia Pacific (regional HQ) responsible for strategic portfolio management and mergers & acquisitions/partnership. At UBS Investment Bank, as Managing Director of M&A, she advised clients on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions where responsibilities included advice on every aspect of M&A transaction, including acquisition financing, capital markets solutions, and developing equity stories.
Ritsuko started her career as USCPA at KPMG LLP New York where she eventually transferred to KPMG Corporate Finance to support Japanese clients going abroad. In addition to M&A advisory work, her responsibilities included coordination and delivery of technical elements of KPMG global service line-up providing “one stop” solution to clients.
She has coverage over a wide range of sectors, regions and transaction structures.
Ritsuko graduated from Long Island University as Valedictorian and received her MBA from Columbia University. 1987/ KPMG LLP New York, 1994/ KPMG Corporate Finance, 2000/UBS Investment Bank, 2008/ General Electric Company