Advent's Japan head to retire

Hiroshi Matsumoto will be replaced by Yoji Anzai, currently a Tokyo-based partner.

Advent International is to shift leadership of its Japanese activities to Yoji Anzai following the planned retirement of Hiroshi Matsumoto.

“We can confirm that Matsumoto san has decided to retire from the business, but the timing is not yet finalised,” a spokesperson said.  He will be replaced by Yoji Anzai, currently a partner, who will take the role of acting head for the firm’s Japan business. 

Advent, which opened a Tokyo office in 2001 to service the needs of Japanese institutional investors, closed its ¥60 billion (then €395 million; $560 million) Japan Private Equity Fund in September 2008. The mid-market focused firm still has yet to transact in the country, although according to the spokesperson, the firm was in the midst of accessing several potential deals.

Matsumoto joined Advent International in 2007 as managing director of Japan and head of the firm’s Tokyo office. He started his career with Japanese steel company NKK Corporation where he was based in the company’s Washington DC office and involved in the acquisition and turnaround of National Steel Corporation. 

Upon his return to Japan, he was involved in founding KVH Telecom, a broadband telecoms company, and subsequently took on the role of chief executive at Alpha Purchase, an online vendor of maintenance, repair and operations products. Prior to joining Advent, he was Japan co-head of Alix Partners, a global restructuring, consulting and financial advisory firm, where he was charged with establishing its Japanese operations.

His replacement, Anzai has worked in executive roles at several institutions. Before joining Advent in 2001, he was chief operating officer of the Bank of New England Leasing Corporation (acquired by The Bank of Tokyo and now called BTMU Capital). He was also a board member of Connecticut-based M&A advisory firm Knox & Co. He also spent 27 years with the Bank of Tokyo where he was general manager its corporate advisory division.

Advent is not the only foreign firm to have struggled to find deals in Japan. KKR, which opened a Tokyo office in 2006, only agreed its first buyout (and second deal) in Japan in June this year, when it won the bidding for recruitment services company Intelligence with a ¥32 billion offer.

European giant Permira meanwhile, which opened a Tokyo office in 2005, has only done one deal in the country so far: the €1.95 billion investment in Japanese agrochemical company Arysta LifeScience in February 2008.

Advent currently invests out of four funds; the $10.4 billion GPE VI, focused on Western Europe and North America, the $1.6 billion ACEE IV focused on Central and Eastern Europe, the $1.65 billion LAPEF V which focuses on Latin America and its Japan fund.