Richard Folsom, WG'90
Co-Founder, Representative Partner
Advantage Partners, LLP

Speakers >> Biography

Richard Folsom founded Advantage Partners, LLP in Tokyo in 1992 with Taisuke Sasanuma. Between 1992 and 1997, they started and managed two new businesses, one a Value-Added Tax (VAT) reclaim service for corporations, formed with partners in New York and London with an operations center in Ireland and marketing hubs in New York and Tokyo, and the other an insurance brokerage and risk management business formed to sell new insurance products in the Japanese market as deregulation changed the dynamics of the industry. This company, Advantage Risk Management went public in Japan in December 2006.

In 1997, Richard and Taisuke established the first buyout fund in Japan, and Richard has since focused his time on the development of this private equity investment practice. They raised a second fund in 2000, a third in 2003, and a fourth fund in 2007. Through the funds, Advantage has made 38 acquisitions and buyouts, of which they have successfully exited 18 and partially exited 1. Recent investments include the acquisitions of United Cinemas (cinema complex management/ development), Meganesuper (eyewear general merchandising) and Hisense Broadband Multimedia Technologies (communication device parts manufacturer) as well as the public-to-private management buyout of Yasuragi (real estate / existing-home renovation business).

Before founding Advantage Partners, Richard’s previous experience was in management consulting with Bain & Company, primarily in their Tokyo office, where he accumulated eight years of experience in developing and implementing strategies for both foreign and domestic corporations in the Japanese market. Overall, Richard has spent 26 of the last 31 years in Japan. He received his undergraduate degree in Japanese and Economics from Brigham Young University, and received an MBA degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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