Japanese online brokerage Monex announced today the beginning of operations of the Monex Activist Fund, which aims to raise the corporate value of listed companies and pursue higher investment returns through active engagement.
The Monex Activist Fund is part of the firm’s initiative to activate Japan’s capital markets and provide better investment products to individual investors, according to the announcement.
“To realize the above-mentioned goals, the Company established Japan Catalyst, Inc. as a wholly-owned subsidiary (announced on January 16, 2020). Since its establishment, Japan Catalyst has obtained registration as an investment advisory business under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, has become a member of the Japan Investment Advisors Association, and has formed its team to enable it to provide advisory services”, Monex said in a statement.
“This team is comprised of members with extensive expertise managing bottom-up research-based funds, hedge funds, activist funds and fund engagement as well as experience in management consulting, M&A banking and a diverse range of other fields. Oki Matsumoto, CEO at Monex, is committed to all aspects of operations from team management to engagement,” the company added.
Monex-Saison-Vanguard Investment Partners, a Monex Group company registered as an investment management business under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, is in the process of becoming a 100% wholly-owned subsidiary and as of April 1, 2020, according to Monex.
“It will be renamed Monex Asset Management, Inc. Monex AM will take on a central role in the Group’s asset management businesses and with advice from Japan Catalyst, begin managing Monex Activist Fund in April”, the firm explained.
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“The company will provide the seed investment and is fully committed to Monex Activist Fund, as well as its efforts to transition from a broker model to an asset management model,” Monex said.
The firm plans to begin handling a publicly offered investment trust, whose mother fund will be Monex Activist Fund targeted at individual investors in June.
In addition to promoting awareness of engagement among individual investors through such activities as Monex Activist Forum, which began in January 2019, Monex, Inc. has also begun disseminating information about activism trends with its online publication Activist Times to respond to increasing interest in activism, according to the statement.
Revitalizing Japanese capital markets
“Through these efforts, we hope to bring together companies and individual investors, who are the anchor in the investment chain and primary players in the capital markets, and in turn, revitalise the Japanese capital markets. With the rapidly changing market and economic environment, we believe now more than ever is an opportune time for Monex Activist Fund to help raise corporate value of Japanese companies. And precisely given these current times, we as a Group will continue to pursue our mission to provide individual investors high-value-added products and services,” Monex concluded.
Monex was established in early 1999 as a venture company by a former Goldman Sachs banker in line with the firm’s strong wish to “create the future of finance.”
A source in the market that requested to remain anonymous commented on the announcement: “This seems like a very smart move by Monex as the Japanese capital markets, which are still heavily dominated by untransparent conglomerates till date, have over the past year attracted a lot of attention from the big global PE firms like KKR, CVC and others for doing exactly the same, whereas Monex will have a clear advantage here since their roots are in Japan and hence they should have access to better deals.”