Episode 23

Michimasa Naka on Investment Banking, Japanese Culture and Being An Optimist

Michimasa Naka has over 20-years of investment banking and global markets experience, most recently as Deputy President and Head of Global Investor Sales for Citigroup Global Markets Japan Inc. As part of his responsibilities, he was also a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee at Citigroup Global Markets Japan Inc., and served as a member of Citigroup’s Global Investor Sales Management Committee and Global Markets Asia Management Committee.

Prior to being Deputy President, Michimasa Naka held various senior management positions, including Director and Member of the Board of Citigroup Global Markets Japan, Head of Global Investors Sales in Japan, and Co-Head of Fixed Income and Member of the Executive Committee, and Co-Head of Structured Product Fixed Income Sales at Nikko Citigroup Ltd. Michimasa Naka started his investment banking career in 1989 when he joined Salmon Brothers Asia Limited to work in the foreign bonds sales division. In 1993, he was promoted to Vice President, and in 1999, he was promoted again to Director of Fixed Income at the newly established Nikko Salmon Smith Barney Limited, managing its foreign bond, life insurance and trust sales business.

In 2000, Michimasa Naka became a Managing Director. He earned a Bachelor of Science and Engineering Degree from Keio University, and a Masters Degree in Engineering at Keio University.


Transcript of the episode:

*this transcript is generated automatically*

Alex Romanovich (00:02):
Hi, this is Alex Romanovich, and welcome to GlobalEdgeTalk. Today is June 22nd, 2020, and we are very privileged to have Mr. Michimasa Naka, Naka-san from Tokyo, Japan. Hello, Naka-san.

Michimasa Naka (00:18):
Hey, Alex.

Alex Romanovich (00:20):
I’m going to briefly introduce you. And then we will start the conversation. As I explained to you, GlobalEdgeTalk is about entrepreneurs. It’s about people who became entrepreneurial or used to be entrepreneurial or were entrepreneurial to begin with, they’re on the edge, they have the edge, and that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about. You’ve had a very, very interesting career and you continue to amaze everybody who was involved with you, with your energy, with your savvy advice. You started your career with the Salomon Brothers, which was later acquired by Citigroup, spent over 20 years with Citigroup as a general director for Japan. Later on, you’ve founded Storm Harbour Securities, which was a boutique exchange securities firm, correct? And then as of recent you’ve also made a number of investments and you are now also with the Broadway, Broad Capital.

Alex Romanovich (01:28):
I’m sorry, there’s not a Broad Capital, it’s Broadwalk Capital, I’m sorry. And you’re all over the world making investments, supporting a lot of entrepreneurs from Tokyo, from Japan, that’s where you are, that’s where your family is. So let’s talk more about you and your philosophy and so forth. So with that career, you started with very large financial, global financial institutions. How did you decide to become more entrepreneurial and sort of after 20 years you decided to go the entrepreneurial route, what sort of prompted that? Tell us more.

Michimasa Naka (02:09):
Well, thank you for the question. So, as you said, I joined the company called Salomon Brothers which I would say end up being Citigroup is a lot of mergers, but even within Salomon Brothers, I was very lucky to be in the fixed income trading department which was a very profitable group within the company. And I was since my background is engineering so I was very lucky to be in the position of making and also creating that new systems, new trading mechanism, program trading, derivatives, securitizations all of those new technologies because we are always ahead of the market, you need to be a little bit smart to make money.

Michimasa Naka (03:18):
And I was so excited to be in that position. And especially our Japan team was doing very well even within the all Citigroup globally. So I was very proud to lead the number one team globally. And I did enjoy doing that, but we all know about this Lehman thing which was, to be honest, I think it was a little bit too much over what we call like financial technology, too much leverage new type of securities. And I think that that may be little bit too much to grow up our financial market, right? And after that, to be honest, it was terrible. I mean, I was a co-CEO of Japan and I was asked to cut more than 70% of people, right?

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