Manulife’s Nagata retires, baton passes to Pimco’s Yamamoto

Shinichi Yamamoto has become president and chief executive officer of Manulife Asset Management (Japan) Ltd, taking over from Yoshihide Nagata who retired at the end of last month after several years in the post.

And what a few years it was.

Manulife is known in Asia more for its retail than its institutional business but it made brave start in the 2008/09 financial term by getting 3.0 billion yen in segregated corporate pension assets under its management, the Japan Pensions Industry Database shows.

For the four years after that number barely budged but by the 2012/13 term the firm had moved into retail and sold 3.2bn yen in investment trusts (as mutual funds are called in Japan). This quickly moved into double figures and at the end of last year on 31 March 2016 the business was worth 69.8bn yen (down from 79.9bn yen 12 months previously) while privately placed funds, which are often for institutional customers, were more than double at 184.9bn yen.

This pales besides the Manulife’s strides in the institutional market when in 2012/2013,, while still a relative newcomer, it was awarded by the giant Government Pension Investment Fund a whopping 400bn yen mandate to actively manage domestic bonds . In 2015/16 its performance on this trove was below the benchmark but only by o.02% and its reputation has gained strongly enough for it to be managing 1,234bn yen for public retirement schemes by 31 December last year, though it still had only 12.7bn yen from corporate funds.

The firm has also done well in non-pensions institutional business, with Japan Investment Advisors Association figures showing it now manages 1,195.1bn yen for customers which are thought to be mostly financial institutions – particularly regional banks.

New boss Shinichi Yamamoto joins from Pimco Japan Ltd where he was president for three years after joining the firm from Goldman Sachs in 2002 to head up the retail business.

© 2017 Japan Pensions Industry Database/Jo McBride. Reporting on, and analysis of, the secretive business of Japanese institutional investment takes big commitments of money and time. This blog is one of the products of such commitment. It may nonetheless be reproduced or used as a source without charge so long as (but only so long as) the use is credited to and a link provided to the original text on that site.

This blog would not exist without the help and humour of Diane Stormont, 1959-2012

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