BDA alumni newsletter | Feb 2024

Dear Alumni,

Happy Year of the Dragon! Last year was not the easiest ever in investment banking, but nevertheless, we had several bright spots across the business in 2023.

  • India remained strong for M&A activity, especially PE-linked deals. We announced four India-linked transactions
  • Japan seems to have been somewhat immune from the global ructions and the market has remained robust. We also announced four Japan-linked transactions
  • Despite the uncertainty around dealmaking and investment in China, our teams were able to deliver on three China-linked transactions
  • We hosted our 5th annual PE Conference in October in Singapore which is becoming a signature event for us within the Asian PE community and our inaugural Japan PE Conference in Tokyo in November.
  • We continued our commitment to giving back to our communities. In November all employees took a few hours away from their laptops to join our annual BDA CSR day and to spend time lending a hand in our communities
  • We also announced 23 promotions in January, which speaks to the growing strength and sophistication of our team

Notwithstanding the market backdrop we announced 18 transactions in 2023. This means we have been growing our share in a difficult market. We also see some encouraging green shoots in most of our markets in early 2024 with pitch and mandate activity on the rise.

I was pleased to see Sonoda-san in Tokyo in January – as I joined the Tokyo team to visit a Shinto shrine to welcome the new year – and to have dinner with co-founder-turned-politician Charlie Maynard in London. He was as inquisitory as ever. We are increasingly seeing our alumni across the table from us on deals, which is a very satisfying development.

We are very proud of your post-BDA successes and love to hear from you. Please continue to stay in touch and share your news.

Best regards,

Paul DiGiacomo

Managing Partner

Alumni in Focus

For our fifth Alumni in Focus, we would like to highlight Shintaro Miyazaki, who worked at BDA Tokyo and London for six years (Jan 2016 – Oct 2022). He now works for ICG, which focuses on structured and private equity, private debt, real assets, and credit. 

What have you been up to lately in business?

Since leaving BDA in October 2022, I have been working for the Tokyo team of ICG (Intermediate Capital Group), a UK-headquartered global alternative investment firm. ICG may not be that well-known outside the industry, but it is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE100. We have four main investment strategies – 1) Structured and Private Equity, 2) Private Debt, 3) Real Assets (infrastructure and real estate), and 4) Credit – and I am part of the Asia Pacific Corporate Fund, which makes structured and private equity investments in mid-market businesses across the Asia Pacific region. Having entered the Asian market in 2001 with the opening of the Hong Kong office, ICG is one of the Western investment firms with the longest track record of investing in Asia. Although the Tokyo office was first opened in 2012, the current team is still very new (started in 2022), and we are actively looking to make investments in Japan (please show us interesting deals…Jeff, Tozawa-san and Yokohara-san!).

What inspired you to go down this journey?

This sounds like a job interview question…it may be a cliché, but I first developed an interest in private equity after working for and across the table from them on various sellside and buyside deals for BDA. As I became more familiar with the business of private equity, I found myself wanting to get involved in the management and operations of businesses post investment, rather than purely during the transaction stage. This particular role was attractive because it was an opportunity to join a new team as one of the founding members; the fact that it was a UK-headquartered fund, which is not very common in Japan, was also a positive given my background.

Where did you get that connection and how is it working?

The role was introduced to me by a recruiter – although I was satisfied at BDA and not actively looking to leave, the opportunity was too tempting to turn down. I was also already aware of ICG because they were a client/counterparty on previous William Blair and Allier deals; in fact, I was somewhat involved from the BDA side when Allier advised on the sale of Everlight Radiology to ICG back in 2016.

Do you miss anything from BDA (something positive about the team culture/entrepreneurial spirit etc)?

The biggest things I miss about BDA is its family culture, its cross-border nature and the opportunity to work closely with members from all the different offices. This not only makes the day-to-day work stimulating and full of variety, but it also allows you to develop relationships with people across the world. As a testament to how broad yet close the BDA network is, just in the last year or so since leaving BDA, I have met up with current BDA employees and alumni in London, Tokyo and Singapore, who collectively work/worked in the New York, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo offices. It was also great to attend the BDA Japan PE Conference, not only for the productive one-on-one sessions but also to catch up with many familiar faces. In addition, I very much miss the annual offsites, which unfortunately could not take place during my final three years at BDA due to COVID-19.

How did BDA equip you for your current success?

Apart from the obviously translatable skills from investment banking to private equity (such as understanding M&A processes, valuation methodologies and financial modelling skills), a valuable experience from BDA was the exposure I had to a wide range of transactions, from sellside to buyside, majority to minority, financial sponsor exit to corporate carveout, and so on. This stood me in good stead when reviewing the many variety of deals that come our way in my current job. In addition, the significant responsibility and tasks entrusted to junior deal team members at BDA (not simply limited to managing the financial model or drafting the IM) was very useful, as you are expected to add value in all aspects of deal sourcing and execution at a private equity firm.

Any words of wisdom for current BDA hires?

Speaking from personal experience, one thing I would particularly recommend is to take advantage of any opportunity to work in multiple offices; I was fortunate enough to be able to work in both the London and Tokyo offices, which was an invaluable experience for me and I know will benefit my career and life moving forward. My understanding is that movement between offices is more common these days, and I believe BDA is fairly unique in the industry in this regard. Similarly, I would also encourage everyone to connect with members from all the different offices, whether it be through the analyst/associate summer training, the mentorship scheme or the annual offsites. Another distinctive characteristic of BDA is its flat, non-hierarchical culture, which allows juniors to work directly with and learn from even the most senior members, including the Managing Partners. It would be a waste not to seek advice and insights from senior members, even for matters that are not necessarily related to work.

Do you have any new skills, specialities, industrials coverage you would like to share with BDA?

Although ICG is fairly sector-agnostic, we have a particularly strong track record in healthcare, industrials and software – my experience of being a longstanding member of BDA’s healthcare sector team, while also working on some industrials and technology deals, helped prepare me well in that regard. In terms of new skills, I am getting used to working on deals where absolutely everything is in Japanese only, from the marketing materials to the legal documents – this was not always the case at BDA Tokyo, as most deals were cross-border by nature, which meant a lot of the materials were also available in English.


Feel free to reach out on LinkedIn!

BDA PE Events 2023

This year, BDA hosted it’s 5th annual flagship Private Equity conference in Singapore and it’s inaugural event in Tokyo. Together, we had over 50 presenting companies and over 400 investors. Each year our event grows and this year we are hoping to host an event in Mumbai.

At our flagship PE conference in Singapore, we hosted a GP-led secondaries panel discussion led by Dominik Woessner, Head of PCA Secondaries, BDA joined by notable experts in the field, Amit Gupta of TPG Newquest, Dominic Goh of HarbourVest, and Sanjay Chakrabarty of Capital Square Partners. Read more on the conference here

In Mumbai, we jointly hosted a PE buyout forum with Alvarez and Marsal. At this event, we hosted two panel discussions with participation from India’s leading PE executives and the Founders committee. Read more on the event here

BDA CSR 2023

BDA continues to dedicate a day each year for every office to volunteer with local organisations to make a difference in the communities they serve. 

The organisations our offices volunteered with are:
City Harvest, New York 
Robinhood Army, Mumbai
THK Nursing Home, Singapore
– TRĂNG KHUYẾT, Ho chi Minh City 
Feeding HK, Hong Kong 
– 善淘Buy, Shanghai 
Nanoom Korea, Seoul 
Kodomo no sono, Tokyo 
Envision, Tokyo 

Click here for highlights from the BDA CSR day. 

Get in touch

If you have anything you want to share with us and the alumni community, to know more about the program, or to be featured, please get in touch with any of the Managing Partners or through one of the following channels:

BDA Alumni: alumni@bdapartners.com
Renita Brammadas, HR Director

Louise Douglas, Marketing Director

Yuiko Kawabata, Operations & HR Manager
Finally, don’t forget to join the BDA Partners LinkedIn Alumni Group.

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