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Comgest adds to Japanese research team


Independent asset management firm Comgest has bolstered the research team behind its top decile Comgest Growth Japan fund with the appointment of Junzaburo Hyuga (pictured), as an analyst, based in the firm’s Tokyo office.

Comgest, known for its long-term quality-growth investment style, has had a local research team in Japan since 2008. Co-managed by Comgest veteran Chantana Ward and Richard Kaye who joined the firm in 2009, the Irish-domiciled Comgest Growth Japan UCITS fund has delivered strong absolute and relative performance to investors, delivering 18.3 per cent p.a. over the past five years compared to 10.9 per cent pa for the Topix in Yen (net of fees, to 31 May 2018). The fund has seen strong inflows over the past twelve months, recently surpassing EUR1 billion in assets under management. 
Hyuga holds an MBA from the Leonard N Stern School of Business, New York University, and was formerly a Senior Associate at Global Strategy Consultants where he was responsible for assessing the viability of companies entering the Asian market and helping companies enhance their digital capabilities. Hyuga also spent several years with JP Morgan Chase (Tokyo) and prior to that, Rakuten in their securities division.
Chantana Ward, portfolio manager, says: “At Comgest we have a strong focus on in-house fundamental analysis and we are always looking for ways to strengthen our competitive edge in the under-researched Japanese market. Junzaburo is a natural fit for our investment style and his strategic background will be a great addition to the team.”
Richard Kaye, portfolio manager, adds: “It’s an exciting time to work in the Japanese equities space. We believe we are seeing a multi-year shift in the Japanese market towards quality growth investing, driven by domestic institutions eager for higher returns as pension underfunding becomes a critical issue. Corporate governance is also improving, and the amount of cash returns to shareholders is at a record high as more and more companies recognise the need to maintain a stable minority shareholder base.”

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