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Capital Allocators – Inside the Institutional Investment Industry

Feb 8, 2021

David Baran and Kazuhiko Shibata are the co-founders of Symphony Financial Partners, a twenty-year old Asia-based manager of $1.3 billion in assets. Symphony focuses on deeply undervalued companies in Japan, with a long-bias, constructive engagement strategy to work closely alongside willing management teams to see intrinsic value reflected in the share price.
Our conversation covers their early careers in Japan, the country’s employee first, shareholder last culture, the resulting disconnect of corporate activity and share price, and the formation of Symphony to invest in the few companies willing to close the gap over time. We then walk through their investment process, including the challenges of taking advantage of what appears incredible value on paper, offering friendly advice as a key component of due diligence, conducting research, and structuring portfolios. We close with a discussion of corporate governance and the necessity of a long-term perspective to thrive in Japan.
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