Yoichiro Kurosawa: Pioneering Positive Change In Society & Finance

Yoichiro Kurosawa: Pioneering Positive Change In Society & Finance

Yoichiro Kurosawa , Managing Director

Yoichiro Kurosawa

Managing Director

Investment management is a crucial element in attaining financial objectives within finance's intricate and competitive realm. It involves overseeing assets and funds for individuals, corporations, and institutions. The primary purpose of investment management revolves around optimizing gains while mitigating potential risks. When referring to investment management, we usually address the management of assets or securities to fulfil specific financial objectives. These objectives are typically focused on the long-term, such as building wealth and savings for retirement. New Horizon Capital operates as a private equity investment firm, specializing in enhancing the value of investee business corporations with various needs for their corporate transformation. With a robust foundation built on more than twenty years of experience in investing in corporations, comprehensive market analysis, and managing assets exceeding 100 crores, they are suitably positioned to cater to limited partners’ needs by generating capital gains through assisting portfolio companies management in goal achievement for their enterprise value enhancement. Yoichiro Kurosawa, a Managing Director at New Horizon Capital, has played a vital role and been a significant factor in the success of the organization.

In an exclusive interview with us, he discussed the inner workings of the organization and its paramount significance in today's industry, shedding light on his personal life and experiences.

Can you provide a concise overview of your professional path and the driving force behind your daily routine?

In my early career, I spent years in Northern California, drawn by a strong desire to immerse myself in the US venture capital community at Silicon Valley—the hub of venture investment. This experience had a profound impact on my career, i nitiated my career at JAFCO, a VC/PE investment firm in Tokyo, with a vision to shift Japan's financial landscape from an emphasis on 'indirect finance' to a more dynamic 'direct finance' represented by PE/VC investment models. This conviction led me to Silicon Valley, where I sought to learn and contribute to the rapidly evolving VC model. Joining JAFCO America (now Icon Ventures), I absorbed invaluable insights from industry luminaries, emphasizing the importance of an industrial mindset and operational understanding in enhancing business value. Returning to Japan, I applied these principles as a CFO for an IT company, achieving remarkable revenue growth and navigating the company through challenging times. Later, in Private Equity, my focus turned to leveraging the untapped potential of Japanese companies, particularly matured manufacturing enterprises, driving them to adapt and thrive amidst the swiftly changing market demands.

My aspiration is to contribute to societal transformation, fostering a better world for future generations

Can you tell us about your academic journey at Tohoku University, including the non-academic lessons you gained from being on campus?

At Tohoku University, I delved into environmental management and sustainability, exploring areas like policy-making, technological solutions, and a comprehensive approach to adapting our societal systems to the evolving environmental landscape, including climate change and biodiversity risks. This academic journey was ahead of its time, offering insights into the 'new normal' driven by global changes. The program was innovative, presenting perspectives that were groundbreaking at that period. Beyond the academic setting, engaging with industry experts profoundly enriched my learning experience, providing invaluable insights. The campus, situated amidst the beautiful mountains, offered a tranquil environment, fostering a deep appreciation for the significance of nature in environmental science. It's an experience that continues to resonate with me, shaping my understanding of our environment and its vital interconnections.

How has New Horizon Capital sustained its position as a multifaceted private equity firm since its establishment in 2002?

New Horizon Capital was established in 2002, a year after I joined the company. Prior to that, I had worked at an investment company named Jafco and had experience with Recruit Group in their advertising business division. Regarding our diversity, we currently operate two key funds: one centred on private equity buyouts and the other focused on revitalization efforts, particularly after the economic slowdown in Japan. We've consistently pursued these strategies in the private equity field, adapting to economic conditions, such as the sluggish Japanese economy in the early 2000s. In 2006, we rebranded to New Horizon from Phoenix Capital. Over the years, we've made 100+ investments, including mergers, acquisitions, and support for struggling businesses. Our pride lies in revitalising these businesses and serving as partners to Japanese companies. We strive to create an environment conducive to change and growth, ensuring that the potential within these companies is not lost, especially in cases where transformation is challenging due to the age and traditional nature of the companies and the industries.

Where do you envision your future trajectory taking you?

To contribute to societal change and create a better world is my aspiration. Drawing from both my economic and academic background, I seek to steer changes in any way possible, albeit it's a considerable undertaking. H owever, I 'm n ot o verly c oncerned about short-term results. What I'm primarily focused on is steering things in a positive direction. Creating a positive impact can be a powerful mindset. It's crucial to consider the long-term implications and how we can contribute positively to society; otherwise, we risk leaving a negative mark.

Yoichiro Kurosawa, Managing Director, New Horizon Capital

With 25 years of Private Equity and Venture Capital expertise in Tokyo, Japan, and Northern California, Yoichiro Kurosawa seeks to make a meaningful contribution. His goal is to drive positive societal and environmental change by deploying private equity capital into enterprises and projects, particularly those involving advanced technologies or specialized services that have the potential to enhance sustainability.

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