Success Stories

Impax Asset Management Japan Ltd (May 2024)

Yasumitsu Iwasa Impax Asset Management Japan Ltd
Representative Director
Interviewer: Financial Services Agency
(February 2024)

Company Profile
Company: Impax Asset Management Japan Ltd
Established: February 7, 2023
Main Business: Financial Instruments Business (Investment Advisory and Agency Business)
Financial Instruments Business Operator: The Director-General of Kanto Local Finance Bureau (FIBO) No. 3398

The logo of Impax Asset Management Japan Ltd: Impax Asset Management

1. Congratulations on your completion of the Investment Advisory and Agency Business (IAA) registration. Could you give us an overview of your company?

We are happy that, Impax Asset Management Group plc has established a corporate entity in Japan, Impax Asset Management Japan Ltd (“Impax Japan”) and completed the IAA registration. This license will enable Impax Japan to better serve Japanese investors by acting as an agent of an entity within the Impax Asset Management Group. It also enables us to provide investment advisory service regarding Japanese equities to the group company. We are very excited about entering the Japanese market with this IAA registration.

Impax Asset Management is a specialist asset manager that invests in the opportunities arising from the transition to a more sustainable global economy. As of December 2023, Impax manages approximately JPY 270 billion for Japanese investors, who invest in the funds managed by our local distribution partner, BNP Paribas Asset Management Japan Limited (“BNPPAM Japan”). Globally Impax Asset Management manages approximately JPY 7 trillion, and has approximately 310 employees, making it one of the investment management sector’s largest investment teams dedicated to sustainable development.

Impax’s focus on investing in the transition to a more sustainable global economy is well aligned with the considerable demand for this area among Japanese asset owners, including a rising interest in considering ESG risk and SDG related investments. As such, we believe there is a significant opportunity to grow our business in Japan.

When we started to consider establishing a base in Asia other than Hong Kong, Singapore was also a candidate, but we finally decided to establish our office in Japan. This demonstrates that from the perspective of market size and stability, we see potential in Japan as an attractive market to invest in, not to mention the potential of attracting assets from Japanese investors.

From left, Miwa Takano, Office Manager and Compliance Officer, Yasumitsu Iwasa, Representative Director

2. What was your impression about the all-in English registration process by the Financial Market Entry Office (FMEO) and the Financial Start-up Support Program by JFSA and Tricor Japan?

When we started this project, we were concerned that it might be complicated to implement because we were not in Japan, and we didn’t have any Japanese speakers. But to our surprise, we achieved more than we ever dreamed we would in the timeline. March 2024 was our deadline to have at least establish the Japan office, but in the end, we completed the license in December 2023. We were very pleased to work with FMEO. Being able to go through the documents in English, we could read and understand and could share them to our internal management. FMEO certainly made the process very smooth and very easy for us.

We were very grateful that the preliminary interview and registration process were conducted in English. It is very difficult to explain the details of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act registration process to the head office, so the reduction in the burden regarding the translations were very big.

It was amazing when we also found out about the Financial Start-up Support Program which includes reimbursement of the cost. We were able to get the necessary support to start our office and to complete the license.

We have high expectations for the government's plan to promote Japan as a Leading Asset Management Center. Overseas media has been picking up the news, which had a positive impact on Japanese stocks. This is a great opportunity to increase Japan's presence, so we hope that the government will continue their efforts.


3. What are Impax Japan’s visions for the future?

Recently, the amount of investment from Japanese investors has been increasing. In addition, the number of Japanese companies that are suitable for the Group's investment policies (globalization and/or improvements in ESG/SDGs and corporate governance) has also been increasing. As a result, we have found opportunities in both marketing to Japanese investors and investing in Japanese assets, which led to our decision to register for Investment Advisory and Agency Business. The Group as a whole has an AUM of 7 trillion yen, but investment in Japan accounts for around 270 billion yen, so we expect this share to increase. We also believe that there are still many interesting Japanese companies in which are well aligned with our investment philosophy of the transition to a more sustainable economy.

We plan to gradually hire more people for our Japan office, starting from one new equity research analyst who have joined our firm from January 2024. We also plan to hire a person in charge of client services and distribution to act as a proxy in 2024.

Left side of monitor: Yasumitsu Iwasa (Representative Director), pictured with monitor, from left to right: Catherine Bremner (Director), Darren Johnson (Director)

Yasumitsu Iwasa
Impax Asset Management Japan Ltd, Representative Director

Yasumitsu Iwasa has nearly thirty years of investment banking and fund management experience in Japan. Prior to joining Impax Asset Management in March 2023, he was involved in the management of Fullerton Fund Management Japan Ltd., an asset management arm of Temasek Group for eight years from August 2014 as representative director. Before that he was with PIMCO Japan Ltd. where he led wholesale business development for two years from April 2012. He began his career at Goldman Sachs where he spent 12 years from October 1995 in equity derivatives and structuring. He holds a master’s degree from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from University of Essex.