Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) has acquired 100% of the shares issued by Angel Japan Asset Management (Angel Japan AM), a Tokyo-based independent investment adviser specialized in the Japanese small-cap equities space.
The transaction will see UBP further strengthen its presence in Japan and is part of its plan to expand its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region.
UBP, which has had a presence in Tokyo since 2005, provides asset management services covering traditional assets and alternative investments to clients based in Japan and global investors seeking to build Japanese exposure.
Angel Japan AM, which was founded in 2001 and led by Hirotaka Usami, comprises five seasoned investment professionals, including four portfolio managers with an average of 24 years’ experience. It currently manages three strategies (focused on initial public offerings, new growth and steady growth) with total assets under advisory of US$1.2 billion.
This acquisition came on the back of a successful partnership between the bank and Angel Japan AM. Since 2018, Angel Japan AM has been advising UBP Investments, the entity managing UBP’s Japanese small-cap equities strategy, which has generated attractive performances since inception and outperformed its benchmark.
Following the transfer of ownership, Hirotaka Usami will become chairman of a newly created board of directors at Angel Japan AM, while Ryota Bando, the current COO, will be appointed CEO. All current employees of Angel Japan AM are expected to remain with the company.
“The acquisition underscores our high conviction on the investment opportunities in the global small-cap equity segment, notably in Japan, and to the team’s unique ability to seize them,” says Nicolas Faller, co-CEO of asset management and head of institutional clients at UBP. “Taking on the ownership of Angel Japan AM will not only broaden our distribution channels to onshore Japanese clients, but will also strengthen our in-house capabilities and value proposition to serve our offshore clients even better.”