Nobuo Sayama

Nobuo Sayama, a founding Partner of Integral and GCA, and potentially the most well-known investment banker in Japan, has over 20 years of experience in the investment banking and corporate turnarounds. He began his M&A career in 1987 with Mitsui Bank (currently Sumitomo Mitsui Bank) and led the M&A team’s domestic and cross-border efforts in New York from 1990 to 1995. During the recession years of the late 1990s, he dealt with distressed deals and is known for pioneering the sale of distressed companies in Japan. He has extensive experience in many significant high profile deals, healthy and distressed, domestic and cross-border. He is well-known for his negotiation technique and style and is well sought after as an advisor.


After a 10+ year career with Mitsui Bank, Nobuo Sayama jointly established Unison Capital as a representative director and partner. Unison Capital was one of the first Japanese buyout funds which specialized in corporate turnarounds, which at the time was a new concept in Japan. While at Unison, He and his team led the turnaround of Tohato, a well-known confectionary maker, and Kiriu, a car parts manufacturer. In May 2003, he became director of Global Corporate Advisory and then assumed the position as representative director at GCA in April 2004. Prior to his investment banking career, he worked for Teijin, a fibers manufacturer, as an engineer and was involved in manufacturing technology development for polymerization of polyester as well as new product R&D.


Recently, Nobuo Sayama advised Hankyu Holdings Inc. on its merger with Hanshin Electric Railway Co., which was the largest post-war private railway merger in Japan. One of his most famous transactions was Crown Leasing, a subsidiary of Nippon Credit Bank (the current Aozora Bank), which went bankrupt with debt of over 1 trillion yen in 1997, the largest debt in the history at that time. He sold the assets amounting to over 350 billion yen of domestic lease sales as well as overseas assets in a short 2-month time frame and concurrently disposed of other domestic and overseas assets. Concurrently, he pioneered the bulk-sale of non-performing loans through this transaction where he also sold approximately 300 billion yen in NPLs over a 3 month-period. His bulk-sale method became the foundation of bad debt bulk-sale in Japan. Additionally, he is well-known for his role in the Okura Shoji bankruptcy in 1998 where he divested the airplane segment and wine business in one month, which set a precedent for bankrupt companies in Japan.


Nobuo Sayama is recognized as an M&A expert in Japan and frequently appears on televised economic debates regarding recent corporate finance topics in Japan. He is a professor at post graduate International Corporate Strategy course at Hitotsubashi University. He is well published, with works including: “Economic Analysis by Financial Information,” “Japanese M&A Practice Course,” “The Revitalization Business and Methods,” “Legal Liquidation for Corporate Revitalization: Focusing on the New Corporate Rehabilitation Act,” “Textbook for Licensing Examination of Business Administration Study: Issues for Today’s Management” and “Pre-Packaged Business Revitalization.”


Nobuo Sayama received his MBA from the Stern School of Business in at NYU. He also completed a doctoral course at the department of Industrial Engineering and Management Tokyo Institute of Technology (Ph.D.). He earned his bachelors degree from Kyoto University, where he majored in Engineering.


Nobuo Sayama is a member of the Japanese Association of Turnaround Professionals (Executive Director), Japanese Association for Business Recovery, Japan Corporate Finance Association and The Japanese Association of Management Accounting. He has been a key member of various committees of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry including the MBO committee and the pre-packaged filing committee.

Financial instruments business : Kanto Local Finance Bureau (Kin-sho) No. 2640