What drew you to Coller Capital?
In 2007, I moved from Tokyo to London specifically to join Coller Capital. Coming from investment banking, I saw huge potential in the secondaries market and in Coller. Against a backdrop of a growing market, Coller was truly innovative and had completed several interesting transactions. As a secondaries investor, I am a generalist and look at many companies in various sectors globally. The prospect of being able to use my judgement in a technically complex market both excited and challenged me. This combination continues to maintain my interest and motivation. Culturally, I was drawn to the diverse backgrounds and nationalities of my colleagues. Differences in cultural mind-sets, thinking styles and approaches are valued at Coller and add to the richness of our culture.
Define what makes Coller a unique place to work.
Coller Capital is entrepreneurial and you are empowered at a relatively early stage of your career to take ownership of your own development. My own career path started as a Senior Associate. I moved to transaction sourcing in Japan as an Investment Manager, and I then saw an opportunity to add value as a Risk Principal. With the support of senior management, I created the post. Once you prove yourself at Coller and have won people’s trust, the business is very open to new ideas – and the structure is flat enough to enable you to step up and make your mark.
What’s your typical day like?
There is no typical day. Things at Coller move fast. We operate in a highly transactional environment and have to be agile to react to opportunity. Consequently, my role is broad and varied. I have to be adept at managing all aspects of our transaction processes, responding to conflicting demands, and keeping abreast of our market. The cross-border nature of my role adds to the challenge, and I enjoy the interactions I have with our investors. At the end of the day, I am here to ensure they get the best possible returns on the investments we make.
What advice would you give potential candidates?
At Coller Capital you need to be open-minded and flexible, and to deal with ambiguity, and show emotional humility. Our market is still developing. We strive for continuous improvement and do not rest on our laurels. To maintain our position as a front-runner in the market, each of us needs to embrace change and develop strong judgement skills. Strong relationship-building skills are also key.