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New York-based alternative asset manager Valens Capital Management, which invests primarily in publicly traded and private micro-cap companies, has opened an office in Tokyo to service its growing Japanese investor base.

Earlier this year, Valens launched a yen-denominated fund that allows Japanese investors to access the US small and micro-cap market in their own currency. The Tokyo office will allow Valens to service their investors more efficiently and effectively, the firm says.

The office will be run by Kiyomi Hioki, a 28-year veteran of the alternative investment industry, who will report to New York-based partner Dennis Pollack. Hioki was previously a director at FinTech Global Securities, marketing alternative investment funds to institutional investors, having earlier spent 15 years at Daiwa Securities.

'Investors all over the world are seeking ways to invest in safer, non-correlated strategies such as asset-based lending,' Pollack says. 'Our yen-denominated fund has provided an easier way for Japanese investors to accomplish this without encountering currency risk.'

Valens Capital Management, together with its affiliate Laurus Capital Management, is headed by co-founders and fund managers Eugene and David Grin and had some USD1.6bn in assets under management at the end of September 30.

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