WERU Asset Management

Hidemichi Watanabe, CEO, WERU Asset Management

Hidemichi Watanabe is an executive partner and CEO of WERU Asset Management. He was previously head of fixed income in Tokyo at UBS Global Asset Management, Credit Suisse Asset Management and Fuji Investment Management.


Can you tell us a bit about WERU Asset Management and its history?
WERU Asset Management is a Japan credit investment advisor. Our Chief Investment Officer, Ms Tomone Kawachi, is one of only a few top credit managers in the industry. WERU Asset Management was established in March 2007 as a 100% owned subsidiary to WERU Investment which was established in June 1998. WERU Asset Management has been strongly supported by its parent company’s management and resources. The name of “WERU” means “Waseda
University Entrepreneurial Research Unit”. The top shareholder of WERU Investment is Waseda University. Half of the board members of WERU Investment are professors at the graduate school of Waseda University.


Briefly describe your investment strategy and why it differs from what other fund managers are doing.
WERU Asset Management manages a Japan credit strategy. WERU’s strength is its unique and sophisticated risk management. As a result, it brings one of the important considerations for diversification to investors.


What investment themes do you see as the most attractive at the moment?
It is always anomaly.


How has your approach to risk management changed in recent times?
The approach is same. Fundamental analysis is the key for our risk management. However, we consider that the keys for the fundamentals are varied.


Do you see changes in regulation as a threat or an opportunity?
The changes in regulation sometimes provide us with more opportunities as we think that investors are looking for better solutions.


What would you have done if you hadn’t been running a hedge fund?
I probably would have been sailing on a boat on the ocean. But this may pose higher risks…

(May 2011)