TEAM

Topaz comprises of team members with wealth of experience and expertise in areas of corporate finance, business turnaround, debt restructuring, loan/real estate investment and asset finance.

Co-Founders

Kiyoto MatsudaChairman
Prior to founding Topaz, Mr. Matsuda was a Partner of Unison Capital Inc., a Japanese private equity firm. Mr. Matsuda started his career at The Industrial Bank of Japan, where he worked in the Business Planning and Corporate Banking departments. From 2002, he was appointed Executive Officer, then Managing Executive Officer at Mizuho Corporate Bank. In 2007, he became Deputy President of Mizuho Securities. Mr. Matsuda holds a B.A. in Economics from Keio University.
Ken NiimuraPresident & CEO
Prior to founding Topaz, Mr. Niimura was Managing Director of Merrill Lynch Japan where he held various senior roles, including Head of Debt Capital Markets and Head of Restructuring Group. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch in 2000, Mr. Niimura was Head of Structured Finance of The Industrial Bank of Japan where he was responsible for originating and structuring securitization products. Mr. Niimura holds an M.B.A. from Cornell University and a B.A. in Law from Waseda University.
Makio YamadaHead of Investor Relations, Executive Director
Prior to founding Topaz, Mr. Yamada was Head of Global Credit Sales of Mizuho Securities, where he was responsible for providing Japanese institutional investors opportunities in global credit products and oversaw the firm’s global credit business. Mr. Yamada started his career at The Industrial Bank of Japan where he held various key roles such as head of bond dealings and corporate client coverage. Mr. Yamada is a member of CMA and holds a B.A. in Commerce from Hitotsubashi University.
Takashi NakazonoHead of Investments, Executive Director
Prior to founding Topaz, Mr. Nakazono was Director of Acquisition Division of Goldman Sachs Realty Japan where he was responsible for acquisition and pricing. Mr. Nakazono executed number of notable acquisitions in corporate debt, real estate and distressed assets. Before joining Goldman Sachs in 2001, Mr. Nakazono started his career at Sumitomo Trust & Banking. Mr. Nakazono is a Certified Real Estate Appraiser and holds a B.A. in Law from Kyoto University.
Koji ShigemitsuExecutive Director
Prior to founding Topaz, Mr. Shigemitsu was Director of Unison Capital Inc. with 10 years of investment experience in Japan. Prior to Unison Capital, he was engaged in principal investment in debt and real estate at Goldman Sachs Japan. Mr. Shigemitsu started his career at McKinsey and Company, Inc. Japan. Mr. Shigemitsu holds a Masters’ Degree from the School of Engineering at University of Tokyo and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from University of Tokyo. Investment Committee member.

Professionals

Takumi FukudaDirector
Mr. Fukuda joined Topaz in July 2014 and is responsible for loan origination. Prior to joining Topaz, he was with Regional Economy Vitalization Corporation of Japan (REVIC), a governmental agency for supporting SME turnaround, where he was responsible for execution of turnaround deals. Before working at REVIC, Mr. Fukuda worked at Risa Partners and UFJ Bank. Mr. Fukuda holds B.A. in Commerce from Waseda University.
Nobuyoshi IguchiDirector
Mr. Iguchi joined Topaz in February 2017 and is mainly responsible for deal sourcing and credit analysis of loan customers. He was the Chief Investment Manager and the Head of Corporate Investment Group of Hudson Japan, an exclusive advisor to Lone Star Funds, and was in charge of analyzing and pricing the assets Lone Star acquired in Japan. Prior to joining Hudson Japan in 2000, he had a 11+ years career at The Industrial Bank of Japan and played key roles in corporate credit analysis, structured finance and project finance. Mr. Iguchi holds B.A. in Civil Engineering from The University of Tokyo.
Tomoko KawaharaDirector
Ms. Kawahara joined Topaz in May 2018 and is mainly responsible for loan origination. Prior to joining Topaz, she was with Tokyo Star Bank where she was in charge of asset finance for companies at a turnaround phase and global / Japanese equity funds. She has also conducted advisory to start-up companies in the recyclable energy area. Ms. Kawahara serves as the President of Blue Topaz, Inc. from September 2019. Ms. Kawahara holds a B.A. in Law from The University of Tokyo.
Masahiro GodaDirector
Mr. Goda joined Topaz in July 2019 as a Director to oversee the Asia project. Mr. Goda has extensive experience in the Asian Market as Regional Head of Mizuho Bank Ltd. in Singapore for 10 years to manage Structured Export Finance & Commodity Finance business. He also spent 4 years in Hong Kong as Head of Structured Finance Division of UFJ Bank. Prior to joining Topaz, he was the Head of Structured Trade Finance at Deutsche Bank Tokyo. Mr. Goda holds B.A. in Law from Keio University.
Ryoko KatayamaDirector
Ms. Katayama joined Topaz in August 2018. Before joining Topaz, she was a member of the IR team of Unison Capital. She started her career at the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley Tokyo, and then moved on to Nidec Corporation where she was involved in various cross border M&A transactions. Ms. Katayama holds a B.A. in Hispanic Studies from Sophia University and a M.A. in International Development Policy from Duke University.
Shinjiro KotakiAssociate
Mr. Kotaki joined Topaz in May 2017. Before joining Topaz, he was at the Investment Banking Division of SMBC Nikko Securities and provided IB services to financial institutions. Prior to joining SMBC Nikko in 2015, he worked for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and engaged in SME financing. Mr. Kotaki is a member of CMA and holds a B.A. in Literature from The University of Tokyo.
Yusuke TsuzukiAssociate
Mr. Tsuzuki joined Topaz in October 2018. Before joining Topaz, he was with Mizuho Securities Principal Investment (“MSPI”) and engaged in various investment transaction such as LBO/mezzanine financing. Prior to joining MSPI in 2015, he worked for the Shinkin Central Bank providing corporate loan services to various clients. Mr. Tsuzuki is a member of CMA and holds a B.A. in Law from The Nagoya University.
Kazuhito YoshidaAssociate
Mr. Yoshida joined Topaz in November 2018. Mr. Yoshida started his career at Nomura Trust and Banking where he was engaged in credit analysis for loans to corporations, high net worth individuals and bond investment. He was also involved in credit investment transactions such as loan syndication and structured finance. Mr. Yoshida holds a B.A. in Economics from Hitotsubashi University and is a member of CMA.
Masami NakadaFund Administration
Ms. Nakada joined Topaz Capital in September 2019. Before joining Topaz, Ms. Nakada was with the Citigroup Inc. for more than twenty years engaging in areas of credit card receivable management, retail banking inspection, and accounting. Ms. Nakada started her career at Mitsui Bank (now Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation) and holds a B.A. in Law from Meiji University
Mitsuru TanizawaInvestment Committee Member
Mr. Tanizawa joined Topaz as a part-time Director in 2013. Mr. Tanizawa was involved in various capital raising and securitization transactions for financial institutions at Nishimura & Asahi as an attorney. After being seconded to the Financial Services Agency and Morgan Stanley Tokyo, Mr. Tanizawa established Tanizawa Law Office and now serves as an Investment Committee member at Topaz. Mr. Tanizawa holds a B.A. in Law from The University of Tokyo and an LL.M from Columbia Law School. Attorney at Law.
Masayuki KawaharaInternal Auditor
Mr. Kawahara joined Topaz as a part-time Director in 2013 and is the head of Internal Audit. Prior to joining Topaz, he was with Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd., where he was in charge of corporate procedures as corporate secretary and was involved in various corporate reorganization projects. After Goldman Sachs, he established INTRIM Co., Ltd., a legal operational service providing company. Mr. Masayuki Kawahara holds a B.A. in Law from Doshisha University and an LL.M. from Washington University.
So SaitoAuditor
Mr. Saito joined Nishimura & Asahi in 1997 and became Partner in 2008. He has extensive background in areas of securitization, fund structuring, compliance issues for financial institutions, Basel regulations and Fin Tech transactions. Mr. Saito established So Law Office in 2015 and became Auditor for Topaz. Mr. Saito holds a B.A. in Law from The University of Tokyo and an LL.M from New York University School of Law School. Attorney at Law (both admitted in Japan and New York).
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