ABOUT US

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ASIAN EQUITY

We offer investors access to Japan and Asian equity markets via an onshore Australian trust, an offshore Cayman fund and through separate accounts. Our emphasis is on maximising returns and preserving capital. Optimal is best characterised as a fundamental investor who maintains a value bias and undertakes rigorous bottom-up analysis, where views on the macro environment as well as other technical and qualitative indicators supplement the approach.

HISTORY

Optimal Fund Management Pty Limited is an independent investment manager dedicated to providing the best possible return to investors. The company was established in 1999 by Warwick Johnson to provide investors with a niche opportunity to invest in the Japanese stock market and capitalise on what he identified as a turnaround in corporate performance. The company has since expanded into offering wider Asian equity expertise. 

 
 
 

SYDNEY TEAM

 
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WARWICK JOHNSON

Founder & Portfolio Manager

Warwick Johnson is based in Sydney and is the founder of Optimal Fund Management which he established as a specialist equities fund manager in 1999.

Warwick began his career in fund management in 1984 with GT Management, Tokyo. He has more than 34 years’ continuous experience in Asian and Australasian equities, of which eleven years were spent working in Japan. In that period, he has worked for a number of leading investment management  firms where his responsibilities included directly managing investment portfolios in Japan, Asia and Australia and leading the equities investment teams . Having spent much of his career working in Japan, Warwick has an extensive knowledge of the Japanese market and is fluent in Japanese.

Warwick holds a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Economic History, Japanese and Chinese studies) from the University of Melbourne and received a university scholarship to spend a year of his degree at Keio University, Tokyo.

Outside his work at Optimal, he is currently chair of VisAsia which supports the Art Gallery of New South Wales in bringing Asian art exhibitions to Sydney and building stronger ties between Australia and Asian countries.

 
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CRAIG MERCER

Portfolio Manager, Asian Equities

Craig is a portfolio manager focusing on Asian equities. Prior to working with Optimal, Craig co-founded a specialist emerging markets firm Remerga. He acted as its Chief Investment Officer. Following the acquisition of Remerga in 2018 by Optimal Fund Management, the decision was taken to focus our combined efforts on opportunities across Asia.

During his multi-decade career, Craig has held a range of leadership roles in both asset management and investment consulting in Europe, Australia and Asia. Key roles have included serving as the head of risk management for the Asian focused hedge fund organisation, Dalton Investments LLC, and heading emerging markets research for the global investment consulting firm Watson Wyatt. 

Craig graduated in 1999 from the University of Dundee in Scotland, with a first class honours degree in Financial Economics and Statistics. 

 
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JOSEPHINE JANG

Chief Operations & Compliance Officer

Josephine has worked with Optimal since 2004 and began her career with KPMG in Melbourne following her graduation in 1990.  Josephine is chartered accountant with over 25 years’ experience in financial services and asset management.  She graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Economics (Accounting major).

 
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SHINOBU TAKANO

Operations

Shinobu has worked with Optimal since 2006 where she has held responsibility for operations and portfolio administration. She began her career in 1999, and has held similar roles with JP Morgan, Nomura Securities and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance Australia. Shinobu holds a Diploma of Financial Markets from the Securities Institute of Australia (now FINSIA). 

 

TOKYO TEAM

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ROBERT GARONE

Analyst

Bob currently works and lives in Japan and leads on-the-ground research for Optimal in Japan.

Bob has lived in Japan since 1992. He started his career in banking, moved into sell-side equity research, and later spent an additional eight years as a buy-side analyst and prop trader. More recently, he has been doing translating and consulting in Tokyo.

He graduated from Colgate University in 1984 and received an MBA and Masters Degree (Asian Studies) from the University of Virginia in 1990.