Lincoln International appoints Kumio Tomonaga and Chiaki Hirota as Senior Advisors to actively cover the retail sector

February 1, 2013 Tokyo – Lincoln International, a leading global mid-market investment bank, has announced Kumio Tomonaga and Chiaki Hirota, two of the leading analysts in the retail sector, have joined its Tokyo office as Senior Advisors. This appointment reflects Lincoln International’s efforts to provide value-added strategic advisory services to the retail sector, where M&A activity is expected to increase to drive both domestic consolidation and international expansion. The addition brings the total number of Lincoln International staff in Japan to 15.

Having been the top ranked retail analyst in the Nikkei rankings for the last 12 years until 2012, Mr. Tomonaga is the most reputable research analyst for the retail sector. He also won the top position with Institutional Investors several times – most recently in 2010 for the GMS/Department Store category. Mr. Tomonaga started his career as a fund manager at The Chuo Trust & Banking and worked for the bank for eleven years. He then joined Mitsubishi Tokyo Securities (currently Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities) and switched his role to the sell-side analyst, and subsequently worked for Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Securities and Citigroup Global Markets. In January 2013, he started Hidden Gems, an independent consulting firm based in Tokyo dedicated for the retail sector, as Managing Partner. The retail companies he covered as an analyst include Seven & i Holdings, Lawson, Family Mart, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, J Front Retailing, H2O Retailing, Takashimaya, Aeon, Uny, Izumi, Arcs, Okuwa and San-A. Mr. Tomonaga received BA in Economics from Aoyama Gakuin University.

Chiaki Hirota started his career with ING Asset Management as a buy-side analyst for the retail and consumer sector. She later joined Deutsche Bank as a sell-side analyst for the specialty retail sector and subsequently worked for JP Morgan Securities and Citigroup Global Markets. In 2012, Ms. Hirota was ranked third by Nikkei Veritas in its specialty retail category. In January this year, she joined Mr. Tomonaga in starting Hidden Gems and currently acts as Managing Partner. While she was at Citi Group, she covered retailers in apparel, consumer electronics and drug stores including Fast Retailing, Shimamura, Yamada Denki, and Matsumoto Kiyoshi. Ms. Hirota received Bachelor of Business Administration from American University with specialization in Finance.

Jim Lawson, Chairman of Lincoln International, commented, “We are delighted to welcome Mr. Tomonaga and Ms. Hirota as our new Senior Advisors in Japan. Lincoln International strives to provide excellent strategic advice to clients leveraging its in-depth industry expertise and global network. Japan is an important market for Lincoln and we are committed to continue expanding our office in Tokyo to further strengthen our professional advisory capabilities and better serve clients’ M&A needs.”

Keiji Miyakawa, Managing Director & Chairman of Lincoln-Japan who leads M&A advisory for the retail sector, said, “Mr. Tomonaga, Ms. Hirota and I overlapped at Deutsche Securities between 2001 and 2007. Their industry research and analysis as well as strategic insight were highly regarded by senior management of Japanese retailers. I am excited to work with them in providing complementary advice to help clients build strategies and execute M&A transactions.”

Tetsuya Fujii, CEO & Managing Director of Lincoln-Japan, commented, “Lincoln International completed 12 M&A transactions involving Japanese company in 2012 – record high since the opening of Tokyo office in 2008. We believe M&A activity in Japanese retail sector will increase coming years. With Mr. Tomonaga and Ms. Hirota joining, we would like to actively support our clients in the retail industry on both origination and execution of M&A opportunities.”

About Lincoln International

Lincoln International specializes in merger and acquisition advisory services, debt advisory services, private capital raising and restructuring advice on mid-market transactions. Lincoln International also provides fairness opinions, valuations and pension advisory services on a wide range of transaction sizes. With fourteen offices in the Americas, Asia and Europe, Lincoln International has strong local knowledge and contacts in key global economies. The firm provides clients with senior-level attention, in-depth industry expertise and integrated resources. By being focused and independent, Lincoln International serves its clients without conflicts of interest. More information about Lincoln International can be obtained at