Mizuho building on No. 1 M&A ranking by hiring bankers from US and Asia

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Mizuho Financial Group Inc. plans to hire bankers from the US and other parts of Asia and is considering moving employees from Japan in order to capitalise on Japan Inc.’s ever-growing need for overseas takeovers.

Atsushi Yamamoto, who will become the head of M&A advisory at Mizuho Securities Co. on April 1, said that the company is seeking to increase the number of staff in the US and Asia who work with the energy, healthcare and the telecommunications industry, but declined to say more on this subject.

Yamamoto did mention that the company has around 100 M&A bankers globally and 80 in Japan and in an interview, stated that Mizuho “understand the need to go overseas and raise corporate value.”

Company managers in Japan are crossing the bridge when they find it, despite the weakening yen,” Yamamoto also said.

Data gathered by Bloomberg shows that the firm has risen from 8th place last year to No.1 among financial advisers in Japan, with Nomura Holdings Inc. in second place, Bank of America Corp third and JPMorgan Chase & Co as fourth.

Bloomberg data also shows that Mizuho is top for cross-border deals and in the past have done M&A business with HSBC and US boutique investment bank Evercore. They have also been working with Australian advisory boutique, Gresham Partners Ltd. since 2010 and advised the government – owned Japan-Post on the $5bn purchase of Australia’s Toll Holdings Ltd.

Yamamoto also said that the “deal shows we can handle large transactions when we team up with an independent M&A boutique abroad, making the most of our domestic platform.”

In terms of buying assets, the group agreed in February to purchase Royal Bank of Scotland loans in North America for $3bn which led to a gain in access to about 200 high-grade corporate clients in the region.

Bloomberg research reveals that so far in 2015, Japanese companies have spent $39bn on acquisitions abroad, which is the quickest start to a year on record and is set to expand further on growing markets. Japanese businesses were also involved in 563 merged valued at $50.4bn this year compared to the 541 acquisitions worth $30bn in 2014.

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