Investment professional Ichiro Suzuki (MBA ’84) has been with Nomura Asset Management since 1986. As a senior portfolio manager for the firm, he is responsible for Nomura’s global equity strategy. Suzuki has nearly 30 years of experience in equity investments in North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific and emerging markets for global institutional and retail clients. As an Investment Policy Committee member, he is also partially responsible for broader asset allocation, including fixed income securities.
Prior to joining Nomura, and immediately after Darden, Suzuki worked as a credit analyst with Chase Manhattan Bank in Tokyo for 18 months.
What’s a typical day like for you at work?
I wake up at 5 a.m., turn on my PC and Bloomberg TV for the final hour of NYSE trading to digest the news and understand the market, especially in terms of economic statistics, corporate earnings, etc. I continue doing that after the NYSE closes at 6 a.m. Japan Standard Time (JST). Many of my ideas are formed in these early morning hours. I arrive at the office at 8:30 a.m. and stay there until 6 p.m. (with 35 minutes of commuting time). At the office, I spend time meeting with economists and analysts from around the world, and I do research on my own while watching the Asia Pacific markets.
After eating dinner at home and getting some rest, I get back to the financial markets in Europe and the U.S. The NYSE opens at 11:30 p.m. JST, and I follow it for the first hour. Global financial markets move around the U.S., although some people don't want to admit it. Doing this from Tokyo requires me to be on alert almost 20 hours a day, and I often wake up and think in the middle of the night. This job is tough on my body, but I still love it.
How has Darden impacted your life?
Prior to Darden, I worked in marketing as an assistant brand manager at Procter & Gamble. I would not have my current job without an MBA degree. Darden not only taught me finance skills, it also instilled in me a great deal of confidence after I went through a rigorous workload, which was much worse than the workload I have today. And above anything else, I made a lot of lifelong friends.
Why did you choose Darden?
I did my junior year in college at Denison University in Ohio, where I met a few people from Charlottesville. They told me what a nice town Charlottesville is, and what a great university UVA is. So I wanted to come to UVA from the beginning. In addition, the case method was what I needed, since I was tired of lecture-based classrooms. But I didn't know Darden was so tough.
What’s the best advice you have ever received?
When I began job hunting in my Second Year at Darden, Professor Bill Davidson, whom I worked for in the summer, told me, "Don't think about Apple. They might not be around in a few years." This is the best advice I got. I still tease him about this. More seriously, a few friends at Denison suggested I get an MBA, which I had never thought of. This changed my life.
What’s your personal motto?
Think differently, and think long term. And be humble, since short-term success in the financial markets can quickly evaporate.
How do you measure success?
Decisions I make can be measured by clear-cut numbers. In a broader measurement of success, I feel extremely privileged to be paid for doing what I enjoy.
What motivates you?
I hate losing.
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