NCRAM
Nomura Corporate Research and Asset Management Inc.

Nomura Corporate Research and Asset Management Inc.

Nomura Corporate Research and Asset Management Inc. (NCRAM) was established in 1991 and serves as an investment advisor for institutional and retail clients around the world, specializing in below investment grade credit including US High Yield, European and Global High Yield, Emerging Markets Debt, and Multi-Asset Credit.

Strategic Capabilities

High Yield Total Return Strategy
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High Yield Total Return Strategy

NCRAM’s flagship High Yield Total Return Strategy represents the length and depth of our experience managing high yield assets. NCRAM portfolio managers have utilized our investment philosophy to identify “Strong Horse” companies since 1991, and we believe this level of continuity will continue to drive success through various market conditions. NCRAM’s High Yield Total Return universe consists primarily of USD-denominated, cash pay corporate bonds predominantly issued by US companies. This strategy is NCRAM’s most opportunistic, with the flexibility to invest across the credit quality spectrum.
BB-B High Yield Strategy
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BB-B High Yield Strategy

NCRAM’s BB-B High Yield Strategy is our higher credit quality US high yield offering. We seek to create portfolios of “Strong Horse” issuers and manage the overall attributes of these portfolios through the market cycle. NCRAM’s BB-B High Yield universe consists primarily of USD-denominated, cash pay corporate bonds predominantly issued by US companies. This strategy was incepted in 1995 and focuses on identifying opportunities primarily in BB and B-rated credits.
European High Yield Strategy
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European High Yield Strategy

NCRAM’s European High Yield Strategy was incepted in 2012 and applies our disciplined investment philosophy and process to the European high yield market. NCRAM’s European High Yield universe consists primarily of European currency denominated, cash pay corporate bonds, and the strategy has the flexibility to invest opportunistically throughout the high yield credit spectrum. The European High Yield Strategy invests predominantly in € and £-denominated issuers and does not seek to take significant currency risk.
Global High Yield Strategy
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Global High Yield Strategy

NCRAM’s Global High Yield Strategy was incepted in 2014 and applies our time-tested investment philosophy and process to global high yield investing. We offer versions of this strategy that incorporate the broad global high yield universe (including emerging markets) or that focus on developed markets global high yield. We also have the ability to tailor accounts in the strategy to include the full credit quality spectrum, or adapt the strategy to the higher quality (BB-B) segment of the market.
Global Sustainable High Yield Strategy
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Global Sustainable High Yield Strategy

NCRAM’s Global Sustainable High Yield Strategy was launched in 2018. This strategy is designed to comply with Article 9 of the European Union’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), and targets both an attractive financial return and constructive sustainability outcomes. GSHY portfolios exclude the highest ESG risk issuers as determined by NCRAM’s proprietary ESG risk assessment framework. The strategy limits exposure to issuers ranked in the lower tiers of the eligible universe, and portfolios can be further customized based on client goals. The strategy’s ultimate objective is to identify and invest in “Strong Horse” companies with favorable track records in sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and governance.
Multi-Asset Credit Strategy
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Multi-Asset Credit Strategy

NCRAM’s Multi-Asset Credit Strategy seeks to generate high income and attractive risk-adjusted returns through dynamic asset allocation among NCRAM’s core asset classes (high yield, loans, and emerging markets) and opportunistic assets (investment grade and securitized credit). We believe that NCRAM is well positioned to leverage its fundamental bottom-up credit research and top-down macro view with a portfolio construction process driven by NCRAM’s assessment of financial market cycles. The strategy focuses on liquid instruments and securities for smooth asset allocation, and uses derivatives for positioning, hedging, and return generation.
Emerging Market Corporate Debt Strategy
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Emerging Market Corporate Debt Strategy

NCRAM’s Emerging Market Corporate Debt Strategy seeks to add value through both bottom-up credit selection and top-down country allocation, harnessing our corporate credit and emerging markets sovereign research expertise.
  • Fundamentally driven, credit intensive research analysis focused on investment grade and high yield issuers
  • Proprietary sovereign analysis targeting alpha generation and risk mitigation through country allocation
  • Seeks opportunistic credit quality positioning during the various phases of the credit and economic cycles
  • Diversified portfolio of issuers
  • Disciplined risk management
Emerging Market Sovereign Debt Hard Currency Strategy
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Emerging Market Sovereign Debt Hard Currency Strategy

The strategy seeks to generate attractive returns and high levels of coupon income by actively investing in emerging market (EM) hard currency sovereign, quasi-sovereign, and corporate bonds. The EM Sovereign Debt Hard Currency Strategy was incepted in 1996. The strategy combines top-down considerations with NCRAM’s characteristic bottom-up, “Strong Horse” credit approach to identify EM credits that can carry their debt load through the economic cycle and avoid credit problems. The strategy emphasizes EM sovereign and quasi-sovereign credits and seeks to avoid EM foreign currency volatility by investing only in USD-denominated instruments.

Investment Process

“Strong Horse” Investment Philosophy
NCRAM’s approach is based upon identifying and investing in what NCRAM believes to be “Strong Horse” companies while also seeking to balance risk/reward.
Stability of our Investment Team
NCRAM’s most senior high yield investment professionals have worked together for over 20 years through different market cycles.
Specialized Research
NCRAM’s dedicated team of credit research analysts are sector experts who directly participate in portfolio decisions.
Bottom-up Approach with a Robust
Top-Down Overlay
NCRAM’s deep fundamental credit research analyzes relative value, and we overlay a four-phase cyclical framework to manage portfolio exposures.
Active Management
NCRAM communicates as a team to seek opportunities in the markets while aiming to manage downside risks.
Intensive Risk Management and Oversight
NCRAM Portfolio Managers, our Risk Team and Risk Monitoring Committee collaborate on portfolio oversight.

Governance

NCRAM ESG Policy
NCRAM Summary of Engagement Practices
NCRAM Remuneration Summary

Senior Leaders

David Crall, CFAChief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, NCRAM

David Crall, CFA, is the President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Investment Officer (CIO), and a Managing Director with NCRAM. He is also a member of NCRAM’s Board of Directors. Mr. Crall became President and CEO of NCRAM in June 2019, and in this capacity he is responsible for the firm’s overall management and business strategy. In addition, as CIO since January 2010, he leads the investment activities and investment team of NCRAM. He is the Chair of NCRAM’s Management Oversight, Investment, New Product, Risk Monitoring, and ESG Committees. Previously, he was a portfolio manager and co-head of the high yield bond team at NCRAM, encompassing primarily high yield bonds but also public-side management of loans and distressed investments, since 2000. Prior to that, he was a portfolio manager of various high yield accounts at NCRAM since 1997, and an analyst in the high yield group at NCRAM for various industries since 1992. Mr. Crall received his B.A. in English from Yale University in 1992. He is a CFA® charterholder, a member of the CFA institute, and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.
David Crall, CFA
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, NCRAM

Steve Kotsen, CFAPortfolio Manager

Steve Kotsen, CFA, is a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager with NCRAM. He has been the lead portfolio manager for NCRAM’s flagship High Yield Total Return Strategy since 2000, including numerous separate accounts, mutual funds, UCITS funds, and other commingled vehicles. He joined NCRAM in 1998 and initially worked as a high yield credit analyst covering various sectors. Previously, he was a portfolio manager at Lazard Frères Asset Management, managing fixed income portfolios exceeding $2bn, and prior to that role, he served as a credit analyst at Lazard. Mr. Kotsen received his M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia Business School in 1995, and his B.A. in International Relations from Princeton University in 1991. Mr. Kotsen is a CFA® charterholder, a member of the CFA Institute, and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.
Steve Kotsen, CFA
Portfolio Manager

Amy Yu Chang, CFAPortfolio Manager

Amy Yu Chang, CFA, is a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager with NCRAM. She manages NCRAM’s higher credit quality accounts, including the BB-B High Yield Strategy, and also assists in managing accounts in the full spectrum High Yield Total Return Strategy. She has been a high yield bond Portfolio Manager since 2007. Prior to that, she was an Assistant Portfolio Manager of various long-only high yield accounts at NCRAM since 2004, and an analyst in the high yield group at NCRAM for various industries including Retail, Apparel, Food, Restaurants, Technology, and Business Services since 1999. Ms. Yu Chang received her B.S. in Biology from Yale University in 1999. She is a CFA® charterholder, a member of the CFA Institute, and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.
Amy Yu Chang, CFA
Portfolio Manager

Derek Leung, CFAPortfolio Manager

Derek Leung, CFA, is an Executive Director and Portfolio Manager with NCRAM. He is the lead Portfolio Manager of the firm’s European and Global High Yield strategies, and he has managed the Global Sustainable High Yield Strategy since 2021. He has managed a subset of US high yield portfolios since 2019, and also served as Assistant Portfolio Manager for various high yield portfolios from 2010 through 2019. Mr. Leung joined NCRAM in 2003 as a high yield credit analyst. He has covered numerous industries including Industrials and Services, Aerospace and Defense, Utilities, Technology, Shipping, Airlines and Aircraft Lessors, and Paper and Packaging. Mr. Leung received his B.A. in Economics from Yale University in May 2003. He is a CFA® charter holder, a member of the CFA Institute, and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.
Derek Leung, CFA
Portfolio Manager

Meno StroemerPortfolio Manager

Meno Stroemer is a Managing Director and Head of Emerging Market Corporate Bond Portfolio Management at NCRAM. Previously, he headed the Portfolio Management team and was the lead PM of emerging market strategies at Fisch Asset Management from 2014 to 2022. Prior to that, he worked for Morgan Stanley in New York, where he initially built up the EM corporate trading desk. He later transferred to Morgan Stanley’s Global Capital Markets group to head up the EM debt syndicate function globally. Before joining Morgan Stanley, Meno worked at UBS for 14 years, initially in London as a credit research analyst. He subsequently transferred to New York and transitioned into a trading role covering emerging markets (Asia, EMEA and Latin America), and ultimately became the head of UBS’ Latin American credit trading desk. Earlier in his career, he worked as a Eurobond desk analyst for HSBC in London and spent nearly three years at Moody’s Investor Service in New York in the position of research analyst. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, and an M.B.A. from the American Graduate School of International Management in Glendale, Arizona.
Meno Stroemer
Portfolio Manager

Eric TorresPortfolio Manager

Eric Torres, is an Executive Director and Portfolio Manager for Emerging Markets (EM) at NCRAM. Mr. Torres is responsible for the management of EM hard currency sovereign credit bonds and assumed the lead portfolio manager role for EM corporate sleeves for global high-yield products managed by NCRAM in September 2016. Before joining NCRAM in 2008, Mr. Torres was research strategist in the Latin America Research Team at JP Morgan in New York, where he worked since 2000 covering different roles within the Emerging Markets Research Team. Prior to joining JP Morgan, Mr. Torres was an economist covering his home country at Chase Manhattan Bank Mexico (from 1998 to 2000) and Banco Santander’s economic consulting unit (from 1996 to 1998) based in Mexico City. Eric earned a B.A. in Economics from the National University of Mexico (UNAM) and his MBA in Finance at Fordham University in New York.
Eric Torres
Portfolio Manager

Hideo KajiwaraPortfolio Manager

Hideo Kajiwara is an Executive Director and Portfolio Manager with NCRAM since 2020. He has more than 20 years of experience in managing global credit and securitized credit products. Prior to joining NCRAM, he was the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) and Senior Portfolio Manager at Nomura Global Alpha LLC (NGA), responsible for managing a global macro hedge fund strategy with a focus on global credit and securitized credit products for more than 11 years. Before NGA, he was a Portfolio Manager at Nomura Asset Management Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, where managed a broad range of credit and securitized products from 1997 through 2008, and he was the lead manager of a large short-duration strategy. Mr. Kajiwara holds a B.A. in international business from Sophia University.
Hideo Kajiwara
Portfolio Manager

Jennie Wong, CPAChief Administrative Officer and Head of Operations

Jennie Wong, CPA, is a Managing Director, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), and Head of Operations of NCRAM. She is the Chair of NCRAM’s Counterparty Review, Performance Reporting Oversight, and Pricing committees. She joined NCRAM in August 1993 and is responsible for the firms’ operations functions. Prior to this position, she was a senior auditor in public accounting with McGladrey & Pullen. Ms. Wong is a Certified Public Accountant and received her B.B.A. in Public Accounting from Pace University in 1989.
Jennie Wong, CPA
Chief Administrative Officer and Head of Operations

Dr. Eugene ShusterHead of Risk

Dr. Eugene Shuster, Managing Director and Head of Risk, joined Nomura in December 2012. Previously, he was Senior Vice President, Head of Quantitative Analytics within the Market Risk Management Group at PNC, where his team was responsible for providing a centralized solution center for all quantitative modeling efforts, research, development, documentation, and implementation across all the asset classes, products, and books that Market Risk Management oversees. Prior to PNC, Eugene spent five years with Deutsche Bank as a Fixed Income Portfolio Manager leading a small team which invested in a large spectrum of fixed income assets using both quantitative and non-systematic strategies (i.e., black box semi-automated Treasury bonds book, new issue Agency and Corporate bonds book, bullet and callable relative value strategy). Prior to Deutsche Bank, he spent three years as a Fixed Income Quantitative Analyst at Putnam Investments creating predictive, pricing and risk, term structure and default, and portfolio construction models for asset classes ranging from Treasury and Agency bonds, to investment grade and high yield bonds, to structured securities such as MBS, ABS, and CMBS. Dr. Shuster earned his Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics and Theoretical Mathematics and his Ph.D. degree in Theoretical Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Eugene Shuster
Head of Risk

Melanie HawthorneHead of Investment Management Legal

Melanie Hawthorne is an Executive Director and Head of Investment Management Legal of NCRAM and NHA, where she focuses on the US-based asset managers within the Nomura Group of companies. Ms. Hawthorne joined Nomura in 2021. She has over 18 years of legal experience spanning multiple industries. She has worked in legal as well as compliance roles in the financial industry, having held dual roles at CIFC Asset Management, registered investment adviser Silver Point Capital, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. She also has extensive experience consulting with advisory firms, working on high-profile cases for mortgage-backed securities litigation. Most recently, Ms. Hawthorne served as In-House Counsel and Compliance Officer for an insurance technology company in Connecticut. Ms. Hawthorne holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Western Connecticut State University and earned her J.D. degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law in 2004.
Melanie Hawthorne
Head of Investment Management Legal

Brett Collins, CFAClient Portfolio Manager

Brett Collins, CFA, is an Executive Director and Client Portfolio Manager at NCRAM. He rejoined the firm in July 2021 and covers High Yield, Emerging Market Debt, and Multi-Asset Credit strategies. Prior to this role, Brett held a variety of positions at State Street Global Advisors, including Quantitative Equity Client Portfolio Manager and Chief Operating Officer of the firm’s Investment Solutions Group. Brett also worked at NCRAM from 1996 to 2004 as an Analyst with the firm’s Emerging Market Debt team. He holds an M.B.A. in Finance and International Business from Columbia Business School and a B.S. in Finance/Investments from Babson College. He is a CFA® charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute.
Brett Collins, CFA
Client Portfolio Manager

Heather GranthamClient Portfolio Manager and Head of Client Relations

Heather Grantham is an Executive Director, Client Portfolio Manager, ESG Specialist, and the Head of Client Relations at NCRAM, where she manages institutional client relationships and works closely with portfolio management, credit research, sales and business development teams to create and market high-yield fixed-income investment products for investors globally. She also serves on NCRAM’s ESG Committee and has a leadership role in defining and framing NCRAM’s responsible investing practices, ESG integration and ESG-focused products to clients, prospects, internal stakeholders and global Nomura affiliates. Ms. Grantham joined NCRAM’s Product Development team in 2012, prior to which her background was in financial services communications, branding, investor relations and business development support. She earned a B.A. in Government, with additional studies in Sociology and Fine Arts, from Cornell University.
Heather Grantham
Client Portfolio Manager and Head of Client Relations

Insights

CIO Monthly Update
March 2024
CIO Monthly Update
February 2024
CIO Monthly Update
January 2024

Contact Us

GENERAL AND INTERNATIONAL INQUIRIES:
NCRAM Product Development Team
ncramproductdevelopment@nomura.com
AMERICAS INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR INQUIRIES:

Nomura Capital Management LLC
Worldwide Plaza, 309 West 49th Street
New York, NY 10019