Carlyle loses Japanese buyout pro to Lazard

Masato Marumo, who was joint managing director of Carlyle’s Japan-focused buyout team, will now head Lazard's Japanese investment banking business.

Masato Marumo, former partner and managing director of The Carlyle Group’s Japan buyout business, has ended a nine-year career with the private equity firm to run Lazard's Japanese investment banking business.

Marumo will be based in Tokyo, working closely with Yasu Hatakeyama, president and chief executive officer of Lazard Frères KK, according to a company statement.

“His extensive knowledge and senior level contacts, particularly within the TMT sector, as well as his unique expertise as a private equity pioneer in this market will be of great benefit to our clients,” Hatakeyama said in the statement.

According to a spokesman for Lazard, the post is a new position at the firm.

Marumo left Carlyle right before he joined Lazard, the spokesman said. In February 2007, Marumo was promoted alongside Takaomi Tomioka to the position of managing director in Carlyle’s Japan-focused buyout business.

Currently, Carlyle’s Tokyo-based Japan buyout team has four managing directors – Tomioka, Tamotsu Adachi, Masao Hirano and Kazuhiro Yamada – and 17 investment professionals.

In February this year, Carlyle wrote off its investment in Japanese mobile phone company Willcom, which filed for bankruptcy protection with the Tokyo District Court. The firm, which owned 60 percent of the telecoms operator, lost around $330 million in capital.

Carlyle partnered with Japanese electronics company Kyocera Corp in 2004 to purchase Willcom for ¥220 billion, equivalent to $2.03 billion at the time, from telephone company KDDI Corp. The investment was made out of three funds, Carlyle Japan Partners, Carlyle Asia Partners and Carlyle Partners III.

A spokeswoman for Carlyle said at the time that in spite of everything Carlyle Japan Partners, which closed on ¥50 billion in 2001, is still “one of the best-performing funds” at the firm.

The fund’s successor, Carlyle Japan Partners II, closed on ¥215.6 billion in August 2006. In 2009, the fund invested in auto software provider Broadleaf and restaurant and pub operator Chimney Co for an estimated ¥19.5 billion and ¥20.7 billion respectively.

Prior to joining Carlyle in 2001, Marumo spent 10 years with Industrial Bank of Japan, which in 2002 merged with Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank and Fuji Bank to form Mizuho Corporate Bank. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in Law from Keio University in Tokyo.