Japan Equities

A disciplined and bottom-up fundamental investment approach with a relative valuation anchor, which seeks to deliver superior returns over a full market cycle.

Our edge

  • Our philosophy is central to our edge. Our awareness of behavioural influences on our judgment has led us to conceive a process that produces repeatable returns over a time horizon acceptable to our clients. The durability of our policy and process over market cycles is underpinned by the hard-wired nature of behavioural influences on decision making.
  • We only target stocks that have a significant difference between price and valuation. We screen a wide investment universe of over 2,000 companies applying consistent anchors around valuation. We are equipped to rapidly identify valuation outliers which may become investment candidates.
  • Expertise and significant experience in managing small, mid and large cap Japanese equity portfolios allow us to meet the needs of clients with different risk appetites.

Team

  • Our deliberately small but highly experienced team has significant buy-in to the investment process. We operate under a culture of challenge and debate that is intended to maximise a creative team dynamic, which we believe is the optimal structure that enables us to focus on the best investment ideas.
  • All investment outcomes are owned by the team and this serves to reinforce the strength and quality of debate.
Portfolio Manager

Dean Cashman joined Eastspring Investments, the Asian asset management business of Prudential plc, as a Portfolio Manager, in November 2004.


 

He is part of the Equity team and is the Team Leader for the Japan Equity focus team as well as the Lead Portfolio Manager for the Japan ‘Focused Value’ strategies. He is also jointly responsible for the Japan ‘Value’ strategies.


 

 Prior to joining Eastspring Investments, Dean worked for BT Fund Managers (Sydney) as the Head of Japanese equities. Dean has over 30 years of financial industry experience.


 

Dean holds a Bachelor of Economics from University of Queensland, Australia (1987).

Portfolio Manager

Prudential plc, as Portfolio Manager, in February 2007.


Max is a Portfolio Manager of the Japan Equity team and is responsible for the “Smaller Companies” strategies.


Prior to joining Eastspring Investments, Max worked at Pi Investments (HK) Limited as a Senior Analyst and Co-Portfolio Manager, he was also founding partner and Analyst for OAL Advisors Limited, advisors to the Rockhampton Fund, Tokyo. In the earlier stage of his career, Max was a small/mid cap Equity Analyst with Cazenove & Co (Japan) Ltd, Tokyo. Max has more than 26 years of financial industry experience.


Max holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the London School of Economics. He is also a UK Qualified Chartered Accountant and is fluent in both written and spoken Japanese.

Portfolio Manager

Ivailo Dikov joined Eastspring Investments, the Asian asset management business of Prudential plc, as Portfolio Manager, in November 2013.

 

Ivailo is a member of the Japan Equity team and is jointly responsible for the “Value” strategies.

 

Prior to Joining Eastspring Investments, Ivailo worked for Theoria Capital Management (Singapore) as an Investment Analyst and previously for TPG Axon Capital (Tokyo) as well as Fidelity Investments (Tokyo). Ivailo has 13 years of investment experience in Japanese equities.

 

Ivailo holds a Master of Business from the Tsukuba University in Japan and is a fluent Japanese speaker.

Portfolio Manager

Samuel Hoang joined Eastspring Investments, the Asian asset management business of Prudential plc, as Portfolio Manager, in September 2011.

 

Samuel is a Portfolio Manager of the Japan Equity focus team and is jointly responsible for the Japan ‘Conservative Value’ strategies.

 

Before joining the Japan team, Samuel was the Lead Portfolio Manager for the Vietnam equity strategy and part of the Regional Asia focus team. Prior to joining Eastspring Investments, Samuel worked at Lion Global Investors as an Equity Analyst. In all, Samuel has over 20 years of financial industry experience.

 

Samuel holds an MBA from Waseda University, Japan and a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from Foreign Trade University, Vietnam.

Portfolio Manager

Calvin Chang joined Eastspring Investments, as Graduate Analyst, in February 2015.


As part of the Graduate Analyst Program, Calvin rotated through a number of equity focus teams, including the Japan Equity Team. Calvin joined the Japan Equity Team after completing the Graduate Analyst Program in May 2017. Calvin adds to the Team's analytical resources by primarily contributing to the Japan Equity common research platform. In all, Calvin has over 4 years of investment experience.


Calvin holds a Degree of Accountancy from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Client Portfolio Manager

Michael Woolley joined Eastspring Investments, the Asian asset management business of Prudential plc, as Client Portfolio Manager, in August 2007.

 

He is part of the Equity team and is responsible for articulating the strategy, process, positioning and performance of our various equity strategies within the Japan focus team. Michael is also responsible for supporting sales and marketing activity as he works closely with the portfolio managers to develop and communicate information about the investment team, process, and performance to both institutional and retail audiences.

 

Prior to joining Eastspring Investments, Michael worked at Schroder Investment Management (Singapore) Limited and held roles in institutional relationship management and product management in Asian equities. Prior to that, he worked at ING Australia as Account Manager, Corporate Superannuation. Michael has 21 years of financial industry experience.


Michael holds a Bachelor Degree in Social Science (Economics) from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Investment Philosophy

  • Prices frequently move more than justified due to shifts in investor risk perception and expectations
  • Behavioural biases influence both investor expectations and risk appetites
  • True underlying value is not always reflected in price
  • Opportunities exist – emotional detachment, rigorous analysis and discipline over a longer-term horizon allow us to exploit these opportunities
  • Our price focused process with a relative valuation anchor aims to deliver superior long-term returns

Investment Process

eastspring
  • Idea Generation - Systematically look for mis-priced assets. Focus on extremes. Identify maximum impact opportunities.
  • Fundamental Analysis - The most important part of the investment process. Confirmation that value exists. Deepen understanding and test conviction.
  • Portfolio Construction - Establish and monitor the risk and reward relationship. Link research output to portfolio construction and review.
  • Risk Control and Review - Ongoing feedback supports sell-discipline. Ensure integrity of investment process.

ESG

The team incorporates ESG issues into its fundamental analysis and decision-making process (in cases where these factors could have a material impact on a company’s valuation and financial performance). This process relies on a proprietary fundamental research process to assess all material factors. The team engages with the companies they have invested in and vote their proxies on all resolutions (except when it is not in the best interests of a client). Specifically:

  • The team explicitly incorporates relevant ESG issues into every aspect of their activities as fundamental equity investors, both before making investment decisions as well as during the time an investment is held in the portfolios
  • As responsible stewards of Eastspring’s clients’ assets, they maintain a dialogue with the entities invested in (where this is feasible)
  • The team utilises third-party ESG data and research vendors in order to assist with the due diligence and ongoing monitoring processes.