Tetsuro Monobe

Chief Executive Officer

Senior Partner

Partner

Investments / Administrative Issues
Investments
Business

Senior Principal

Investments
Investments

Principal

Business
Business
Business
»  Kengo Ito
Business

Senior Vice President

Business

Vice President

Investments
Investments
Business

Associate

Investments

Senior Advisor

Senior Advisor Life Fellow IEEE
Senior Advisor
Chief Executive Officer

Akitoshi Nakamura

Mr. Nakamura co-founded the Aspirant Group in 2012. Prior to founding, Mr. Nakamura practiced law both in Japan and the United States, and has been engaged in a wide range of investment activities. Initially at a foreign financial institution, Mr. Nakamura specifically pursued hands-on buyout investments from 1998 in notable institutions. In the public sector, Mr. Nakamura worked at the Industrial Revitalization Corporation of Japan (IRCJ, Executive Managing Director) and Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan (ETIC, Representative and Senior Managing Director). In the private sector, he has assumed various roles at Ripplewood (MD), Nikko Principal Investments (Vice Chairman), and Sun Capital Partners Japan (Chairman and CEO). Mr. Nakamura has distinguished experience as an investor and member of management not only for mid-size companies such as Phoenix Resort Co., Ltd. (Miyazaki Seagaia), Miyazaki Kotsu Co., Ltd., Skynet Asia Airways Co., Ltd., but also for large companies such as Nippon Coke & Engineering Co., Ltd. (former Mitsui Mining Ltd.), BELLSYSTEM24, Inc. and Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL). Mr. Nakamura holds a B.A. in Law from the University of Tokyo and an L.L.M. from Columbia Law School.

Senior Partner

Akira Kawamoto

Mr. Kawamoto co-founded the Aspirant Group in 2012. Prior to founding, Mr. Kawamoto spent over twenty years at the Ministry of Economic, Trade and Industry from 1981-2012. During his tenure, he has held prominent positions within the ministry and the government, as well as international organizations regarding economic policies where he has accumulated expertise on economic trends both inside and outside of Japan and perspectives on various industries. He has also established an extensive cross-ministerial human network within the industry, government and academia. From 1995, Mr. Kawamoto served as a member of a regulatory reform project for 4 years at the OECD in Paris. Upon return, he directed various and important governmental policies such as the White Paper on Trade, liberalization of the electric power industry, implementation of the Science and Technology Basic Plan and the National Commission on Social Security. In 2009, he was appointed as Assistant Vice-Minister, Minister’s Secretariat (Industry Policy Bureau/Economic and Social Policies), and seconded to ETIC in 2010 as Executive Senior Managing Director where he gained experience in corporate turnaround. From April 2013, Mr. Kawamoto lectures a course at Keio University Faculty of Economics as Professor. He is also a Board Director at Future Architect, Inc. and has published a number of books, including “Why Japan cannot execute reform?”(April, 2013, Nikkei Publishing Inc.), “Regulation Reform” (Chuko Shinsho). Mr. Kawamoto holds a B.A. in Law from the University of Tokyo and a B.A. in Law, M.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford.

Partner, Investments / Administrative Issues

Yasuhiko Hamada

Prior to joining the Aspirant Group, Mr.Hamada worked at ETIC (now Regional Economy Vitalization Corporation of Japan) from 2009 where he gained experience in corporate investments and turnarounds. At ETIC, Mr. Hamada exerted his hands on approach and significantly contributed to the business improvement of Fuji Technica & Miyazu, Inc., established as a result of business integration and industry consolidation of Fuji Technica (the 2nd largest manufacturer of automotive press tools/dies) and Miyazu Seisakusho (the 3rd largest manufacturer of automotive press tools/dies). Mr. Hamada started his career at a business corporation, then moved on to an audit firm engaging in corporate financial audit activities of Japanese blue chip companies. In 2007, he joined a private investment fund prior to joining ETIC. Mr. Hamada holds a B.A. in Law from Gakushuin University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Partner, Investments

Yuichi Shin

Prior to joining the Aspirant Group, Mr. Shin worked at Ant Capital Partners from 2006 where he covered investment executions for business successions and TOB transactions, as well as hands-on management and exit negotiations for its portfolio companies. Before Ant Capital Partners, Mr. Shin was engaged in the implementation of business turnaround scheme and performance improvement for Skynet Asia Airlines at IRCJ from 2003. Mr. Shin started his career in 1995 at Yamaichi Securities and had been involved in corporate finance covering IPO, CB, WB and securitization at several securities firms. Mr. Shin holds a B.A. in Economics from University of Tokyo.

Partner, Business

Tomomi Hara

Prior to joining the Aspirant Group, Mr. Hara had been spearheading efficiency engineering efforts to enhance corporate profitability at a prime Japanese vendor of BPO from 1999 and was engaged in solution proposals-based marketing to top-tier client companies in various industries at the CRM department in the Greater Tokyo Area. He was promoted to Executive Officer in charge of Hokkaido Branch in March 2010 and to Senior Executive Officer the following year supervising 18,000 employees working for CRM departments throughout Japan while reforming the company to a high profit generating entity. Mr. Hara started his career at a commercial bank where he was involved in corporate lending, asset management for high net worth individuals, and senior marketing positions at branch offices. Mr. Hara holds a B.A. in Law from Nihon University.

Senior Principal, Investments

Suguru Mima

Prior to joining the Aspirant Group, Mr. Mima worked at a Japanese general trading company, Toyota Tsusho, focusing on strategy revisions and domestic and overseas M&As/alliances in the grain/food industry. He also worked at Ant Capital Partners from 2005 where he was in charge of investment to family-held businesses, management support and exit negotiations for its portfolio companies, and fund raising activities. Prior to Ant Capital Partners, Mr. Mima worked at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) from 2000 where he was engaged in various types of projects including new business start-ups, R&D strategy restructuring and operational reforms for governmental agencies, financial institutions, chemical companies and IT carriers. Mr. Mima holds a B.A. and M.A. in Technology from Kyoto University and an M.B.A. in Financial Strategy from the International Corporate Strategy of Graduate School of Hitotsubashi University.

Senior Principal, Investments

Yasufumi Hirao

Mr. Hirao has unique global experience in direct private corporate investments with both control and non-control as well as fund investments.
He started his career with Mitsubishi Corporation, that is one of the biggest investment and trading firm in Japan. His business and administration experience at Mitsubishi Corporation had led to his investments in a number of private companies in Japan, China, South East Asia, Europe and South Africa, through his assignment at several Mitsubishi subsidiary companies such as Millennia Venture Partners, Kizuna Capital Partners and MC Capital Europe. His investments diversifies from large corporate curve-out, turnaround, growth and development capital to early stage investments with hands-on support to portfolio companies as non-executive director to create value of the businesses. He also made Private Equity and Infrastructure fund investments globally and have extensive network among GP, LP community. Not just as an investment manager, he has real life management experience as President &CEO at Alternative Investment Capital, Kizuna Capital Partners, and Millennia Venture Partners.
Mr. Hirao holds BA in Economics from Keio University.

Principal, Business

Masaya Nakanishi

Prior to joining the Aspirant Group, Mr. Nakanishi worked at ETIC from 2010 as a project manager for their business turnaround investments and was mainly responsible for the revitalization of ARRK Corporation (ARRK) as Representative Operating Officer. Prior to ETIC, he was the head of Dogan Advisors’ business succession fund from 2007, overlooking overall investments and management support post investment as Board Director. From 2004, Mr. Nakanishi worked at IRCJ, in charge of investments to Okawaso Co., Ltd. and Miyazaki Kotsu Co., Ltd. and has contributed to the planning and execution of their business turnaround plans and performance improvement. Mr. Nakanishi started his career at a major Japanese commercial bank and was engaged in corporate loan operations, then at a financial consulting firm conducting asset valuation operations for domestic and international major investment banks. Mr. Nakanishi holds a B.A in Economics from Rikkyo University.

Principal, Business

Kazushige Takahashi

Prior to joining the Aspirant Group, Mr. Takahashi worked at ETIC from 2009 and was engaged in corporate investments and turnarounds. At ETIC, he was mainly in charge for ARRK as a Representative Operating Officer with hands-on approach and contributed to its business improvement through corporate reorganization, non-core business divestitures and operational improvements. Mr. Takahashi started his career as a system engineer and then joined a major audit firm in Japan where he performed financial due diligence and planned business reconstruction schemes for clients. Mr. Takahashi holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Oregon.

Principal, Business

Taichi Nakamaru

Prior to joining the Aspirant Group, Mr. Nakamaru started his career at a food industry and worked for a major BPO company since 2000, in charge of on-site operation management as well as area management. Throughout his career, he has accumulated practical experience in field operation, business design, profit/quality improvement, sales management, and project leader.
Since 2010, he was engaged in BPO business as vice president at a major telecommunication affiliate and as sales director at a global telecommunications company, in charge of IT solutions proposal for client cost reduction and productivity improvement.

Principal, Business

Kengo Ito

Prior to joining the Aspirant Group, Mr. Ito started his career at a printing industry and worked for a major BPO company since 2001, in charge of on-site operation management as well as area management. Throughout his career, he has accumulated practical experience in improving operational efficiency, service quality control, re-building career development system, introducing tele-work system while reforming internal working rules.

Senior Vice President, Business

Hiroshi Nishio

Prior to joining the Aspirant Group, Mr. Nishio worked at a steel industry company as accountant manager and was in charge of domestic and foreign group company management and the development of consolidated accounting procedures, document disclosure processes and J-Sox rules. He was also responsible for constructing the entire managerial accounting process, which contributed significantly to the IPO of the company. Before that, Mr. Nishio worked at a Japanese servicer as division head for cooperate planning department, in charge of several performance improvement projects including business plan development, financial forecasting, process /IT system reconstruction. Mr. Nishio holds a B.A. in Law from Meiji Gakuin University.

Vice President, Investments

Naotaka Kumagai

Prior to joining the Aspirant Group, Mr. Kumagai worked at Advantage Partners, where he engaged in investments in technologies and industrials, business services, retail and restaurant industries. He started his professional career at Corporate Directions, Inc. as a management consultant, where he served clients in a wide range of sectors including private equity, manufacturing, entertainment and the Japanese government.

Vice President, Investments

Yorihisa Asano

Prior to joining the Aspirant Group, Mr. Asano worked at The Boston Consulting Group and was engaged in building and executing corporate/business strategy for clients in manufacturing, power, pharmaceutical industries. Mr. Asano started his career at Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation in 2009, and was involved in planning monthly/quarterly sales, production schemes for hot coil products, and coordinating sales division and factory site for execution. Mr. Asano holds a B.A. in Economics from from the University of Tokyo

Vice President, Business

Tetsuro Monobe

Mr. Monobe joined the Aspirant Group in November 2016. Prior to joining, he worked for Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company. At Nestlé he served in several operational capacities, including operational audit and improvement activities throughout twelve countries, and new business development, strategy planning, divisional budget controls and reporting for Nestlé Japan. Prior to Nestlé, he worked at Deloitte Tohmatsu, performing external financial audits for publicly listed companies in Japan and the United States, as well as providing support for internal control development of a Japanese overseas subsidiary and IPO support for domestic companies. Mr. Monobe holds a B.A. in Commerce from Doshisha University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Associate, Investments

Hiroaki Gi

Prior to joining the Aspirant Group, Mr. Gi worked at Alternative Investment Capital, where he engaged in investments in Private Equity Fund located in Japan, US and Europe and monitoring invested funds globally. He also has experience of setting up and managing Fund of Funds. He started his career at The Bank of Yokohama, where he engaged in loaning and credit management.
Mr. Gi holds BA in Business Administration from Aoyama Gakuin University.

Senior Advisor

Senior Advisor Life Fellow IEEE

Haruo Kawahara

Mr.Kawahara joined the Aspirant Group from February 2017.
He was a Senior Vice President and a member of the Board in the last stage from 1961 to 2000 in Toshiba.
He has extensively experienced as a Corporate Executive for corporate strategic business management and M&A.
He also was the CEO of a joint venture company in USA between United Technologies Corporation and Toshiba to develop and commercialize fuel cell power plants.
In the early years of his career, he had more than 20 years of engineering and management experience of computer control system development and commercialization to fully automate power generation plant operations.
For two years from 2000, as a Senior Advisor in Ripplewood Japan, a PE fund in USA, he was engaged in the acquisition of Nippon Columbia from Hitachi and Marantz from Philips, and in restructuring the audio industry.
From 2002 to 2008, he was engaged to revitalize KENWOOD as President & CEO from Negative Net-Worth into V-shape turn-around of historical highest net income.
From 2008, he established JVCKENWOOD integrated KENWOOD and JVC as Chairman & CEO and succeeded to the next management in 2016.

  • Senior Advisor at Aspirant Group, Inc., since February 2017
  • Director at ZMP since March 2017
  • Advisor at JVC KENWOOD Corporation since June 2016.
  • CEO of JVC KENWOOD Corporation (formerly JVC KENWOOD Holdings, Inc.) from 2008 to June, 2016
  • Chairman of JVC KENWOOD Corporation from October 2008 to June 2016
  • CEO of Kenwood Corporation from 2002 to 2007
  • Senior advisor at Ripplewood Japan from 2000 to 2002.
  • Corporation staff general manager head office at Toshiba from 1991 to 2000
  • General manager business operation at Toshiba from1987 to 1991
  • Engineering manager at Toshiba from 1973 to 1985
Senior Advisor

Yasuo Suzuki

Since 1970, Mr.Suzuki experienced all series of manufacturing process including research, sales engineering, assembly, production planning, production management, cost management, purchase, and factory operation management at Komatsu Ltd, that is one of the largest construction and mining equipment company. He also led structural reform at Komatsu as CEO at subsidiaries, 9years duty in United States, and senior executive director at HQ.
His V-shape recovery experience as CEO of Komatsu Industries Corp was outlined in famous Mr.Saegusa’s business book “V-shape recovery management”.
From August 2011, he assumes CEO at ARRK that ETIC sponsored and established its growth path.
After ARRK, he founded Bizits Partners in July 2017 and is supporting SME.
He joined Aspirant Group as a senior advisor in July 2017.
He is also an Executive Director at Kanazawa University and has classes for their master course students.