TOKYO -- Japan's Nikko Asset Management intends to take a stake as soon as this month in Ark Investment Management, an American startup adept at research in the financial technology field.
Nikko Asset is seen investing several million dollars to obtain a roughly 15% interest in Ark. The Japanese company already serves as the exclusive provider for Ark's products in the Asia and Oceania region.
Ark was founded in 2014 and makes its headquarters in New York. Around two-thirds of the company's analysts are veterans of Silicon Valley information technology businesses and the like, and Ark's forte is discovering investment opportunities in disruptive technological innovation.
Nikko Asset has sought investment advice from Ark for a global fintech equity fund it began managing in December. At the end of July, that fund held over 75 billion yen ($678 million) in assets under management. Building on the success of that product, Nikko Asset decided to deepen its connection with the New York company, starting with a capital partnership. It then intends to develop new investment products with Ark.
Nikko Asset's strategy of overseas capital partnerships stands out even among Japanese investment firms. Aside from purchasing Australian and New Zealand-based investment companies in 2011, it also acquired an asset management unit of Singapore's biggest lender, DBS Bank.