Charles Beazley steps down as Nikko AM’s CEO

13 January 2014   Category: News, Asia, Japan   By Asia Asset Management

David Semaya has been appointed as chairman of Nikko Asset Management (Nikko AM), the Tokyo-based asset manager announced on January 10. He will join the company as non-executive chairman effective April 1, and is expected to become executive chairman on September 1, 2014.

In addition, Takumi Shibata has been named president and chief executive officer of Nikko AM effective January 10. In addition to his new roles, he will continue as executive chairman until Mr. Semaya joins the company.

Charles Beazley is stepping down as president and chief executive officer for family reasons, and will be returning to the UK.

Mr. Semaya most recently worked at Barclays Plc, where he served in various executive leadership positions since joining the bank in 2004. He is also a director of the Investment Management Association in the UK, and has served as a director of the Wealth Management Association and as a trustee director for one of Europe's largest private pension funds. Before being based in the UK, he lived in Japan for more than 15 years and is fluent in Japanese.

“Joining Nikko AM at this pivotal time in its evolution is an exciting opportunity for me, and I look forward to participating in the Japanese market again. I have known Nikko AM as a competitor, and have developed respect for the firm over many years,” said Mr. Semaya. “Nikko AM enjoys an immense business opportunity not only in Japan but throughout Asia and beyond.”

Mr. Shibata joined Nikko AM as executive chairman in July 2013 following a distinguished career at Nomura Holdings, where he served as group COO, after completing stints managing global investment banking, the global wholesale business, global support functions, and the asset management business. A seasoned executive on the international stage, he spent 12 years of his career in London, where he ran the firm’s European business, three years in Hong Kong, two years each in Boston and Kobe, as well as 18 years in Tokyo.

“I am very pleased that David Semaya has agreed to join forces with us. His experience in the industry both globally and in Japan will be an invaluable asset for us,” Mr. Shibata said. “As a member of the new management team with David, I am excited to have the opportunity to take Nikko AM to new heights for our clients on a global basis. We will achieve this by reinforcing the investment culture, the quality of products and services and risk management, while increasing the focus of our employees and investing in the business. As a firm, we’re taking a proactive approach to harvesting opportunities globally, and will seek to grow by enhancing our product capabilities to meet our clients’ needs.”

Mr. Beazley joined Nikko Asset Management in London in 2006 as president of Nikko Asset Management Europe, where he ran the firm’s international business. In 2010, he relocated to Tokyo to head the institutional business in addition to his international responsibilities. In 2012, he was named chairman and chief executive officer, and in 2013 he also became president.

“The decision to leave Nikko Asset Management was not an easy one for me, but I naturally chose to return to the UK in the face of family health issues that require my undivided attention,” Mr. Beazley said. “I am proud of the progress Nikko AM has made during my tenure as CEO, and have no doubt that the company will continue to prosper under the new management.”

Mr. Beazley was instrumental in developing Nikko AM’s international business and raising its profile among institutional investors. In particular, he dedicated much effort to integrating the businesses the firm acquired while also identifying and bringing on new capabilities that have strengthened Nikko AM’s business foundation.