Standard Life Investments expands in Japan
28 April 2016
New Country CEO Appointed to Drive Long Term Strategy
Standard Life Investments, the global asset manager, today announces two senior appointments as it opens a new office in Tokyo, signifying further global growth and its long term commitment to Japan. Its local subsidiary Standard Life Investments (Japan) Limited received an Investment Advisory & Agency Licence from the Financial Services Agency in Japan in mid-April 2016.
Neil Slater has been appointed CEO and Representative Director, responsible for developing and implementing Standard Life Investments’ long term business strategy in Japan. Neil leads a growing team of 11 covering key business and client servicing functions, including two members who provide business support from the Japan Desk in the Edinburgh headquarters. He reports to Colin Clark, Executive Director and Head of Global Client Group based in London. Neil was previously a fund manager within Standard Life Investments’ global real estate team, and has extensive experience spanning fund structuring and operations across liquid and illiquid asset classes.
Mikifumi Watanabe has been named Vice Chairman of Standard Life Investments (Japan) Limited, reporting to Neil. He joined the company as a Senior Advisor in 2015. Leveraging his broad industry experience, Mikifumi is supporting Neil on the development of business strategy for Japan.
Standard Life Investments has had a presence in Japan for over five years. It entered into a strategic alliance with Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited*, and has built a solid foundation for future development opportunities. Having a dedicated team on the ground allows the company to continue strengthening its long term growth potential in Japan, catering to the evolving needs of Japanese investors.
Colin Clark, Executive Director and Head of Global Client Group, Standard Life Investments, said:
“Neil and Mikifumi bring to the team a wealth of asset management expertise, coupled with global perspectives and local insight on Japan. Under their leadership, we aim to broaden our business and deliver sustainable growth in this significant market. As part of our global strategy and long term commitment to the Asia Pacific region, we look forward to taking our Japanese business to the next phase of development.”
Neil Slater, CEO and Representative Director of Standard Life Investments Japan, said:
“Japan is the world’s second largest asset management industry. As a global asset manager, building a long term presence on the ground is strategically important for our clients. With strong global heritage in investments and insurance asset management expertise, Standard Life Investments is well placed to provide Japanese investors with a broad spectrum of investment capabilities, strategies and solutions to meet their financial objectives in the long run.”
The Standard Life Investments Japan team will move to a new office in the Otemachi Financial City Grand Cube, 9-2, Otemachi 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, in June this year.
Standard Life Investments has seen considerable expansion globally. Its Asia Pacific team size doubled to around 50 over the past two years across offices in Hong Kong, Sydney, Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing. In addition to the strategic alliance with Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited, it has its HDFC Asset Management joint venture in Mumbai. Standard Life Investments' parent group, Standard Life plc., is a long-term savings and investment company with over 190 years of history. Standard Life plc has an insurance business in Hong Kong and two insurance joint ventures in Asia, namely HDFC Standard Life in India and Heng An Standard Life (HASL) in China.
* In 2010, Standard Life Investments entered into a strategic alliance with Chuo Mitsui Asset Trust and Banking Company Limited, the latter merged with The Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co., Ltd. and became Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Banking, Limited in 2012.
Neil Slater, CEO and Representative Director, Standard Life Investments Japan
Neil was appointed CEO of Standard Life Investments Japan in September 2015. He joined Standard Life Investments in Edinburgh in August 2011, leading a multidisciplinary team responsible for product structuring, tax, legal, debt & bank relationships and corporate secretarial for the real estate business, whilst supporting product financing across asset classes. Neil developed and fund managed Standard Life Investments Real Estate’s investor debt platform and had responsibility for £ 600million of capital across client mandates. Prior to joining Standard Life Investments, Neil spent over six years at Man Investments/ Man Group in Switzerland as both a Senior Fund Structurer and Head of Product Finance & Risk Transfer, structuring and implementing equity derivative, single and multi-strategy products, debt and hedging strategies across a number of global markets including Asia.
Neil is an English qualified solicitor and previously worked as a financial structuring lawyer for US and UK law firms in London. He received his MBA (Finance) with distinction from Manchester Business School and has a Master’s degree from St. Andrews University.
Mikifumi Watanabe, Vice Chairman, Standard Life Investments Japan
Mikifumi was appointed Vice Chairman of Standard Life Investments Japan in March 2016. Prior to joining Standard Life Investments Japan as Senior Advisor in 2015, he was the Representative Director and Japan CEO of AXA IM Japan since 2005. He was a Senior Managing Director of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers from 2000 to 2005 responsible for the institutional business. He was Head of the Consultant team of Russell Investment in Japan and a Board Member of Russell Japan from 1996 to 2000. Mikifumi worked at Mizuho Trust & Banking across its securities investment, investment research & development and pension investment departments from 1987 to 1996. During the time he worked for Japan’s largest public fund from its research institution for three years.
Mikifumi graduated from Tokyo University with a Bachelor degree in mechanical science.