Our Team
Our team of professionals come from a variety of backgrounds such as Investment & Commercial Banking, Placement & Capital Raising, Management Consulting and Investment Management.  This diversity provides a breadth of knowledge for our team to serve our manager clients and investors alike. Our professionals each have an 20 to 30 years experience in doing business in Japan.

Jerrod John Stelli (“Jerry”)

Mr. Stelli is responsible for manager client sourcing, direct marketing to investors, client management and the overall business strategy of Matrix Japan.


Prior to founding Matrix Ascent Partners (now Matrix Japan K.K.), Mr. Stelli served as Director of Strategic Business Development at Caxton Associates, where, as a member of Caxton’s senior management, he was responsible for both marketing and client management and the identification of new investment managers for the firm.


Mr. Stelli, with over twenty eight years experience in banking, capital markets and alternative investment management began his career in 1986 at JP Morgan & Co. in the Asia Pacific and Private Banking groups.  In 1989, he joined US Trust Co. to develop and apply quantitative performance analysis to outside fund managers. In 1990, Mr. Stelli joined International Foreign Exchange Concepts, Inc. where he was responsible for marketing advisory and investment management services to institutions throughout Asia and Western Europe.


In 1995, Mr. Stelli joined Titan Capital Management, Ltd. (London) as General Manager and Head of Global Institutional Marketing where, based in Hong Kong, London and New York, he was responsible for the firm’s overall strategic development.  He also served as Managing Director of Titan’s Asian operations and based was in Hong Kong. After assisting in Titan’s sale in 1999, Mr. Stelli joined M.D. Sass as Managing Director and Head of Marketing where he was responsible for marketing and business development for all investment products including private equity, hedge funds and a fund of hedge funds.


In 2004 Mr. Stelli founded Matrix Ascent Partners, LLC / Matrix Japan K.K. (“Matrix”) a boutique alternative investment advisory business providing: advisory services, placement and cross border joint ventures and investments to alternative and traditional fund management businesses.  Matrix also successfully incubated two hedge funds businesses, one in Japan and one in Sydney.  Matrix’s clients ranged from the investment arm of an Asian government to hundreds of billion dollar Private Equity, Real Estate and Infrastructure and other asset managers to a select group of large and medium size alternative fund management businesses.  Importantly, Matrix had successfully raised assets from institutional investors across Asia, Europe and North America.


Mr. Stelli holds a BA from Columbia University (Political Philosophy & Chinese Language, Culture and Politics) and attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program. 


Mr. Stelli also holds a Class 2 Securities License with the Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA).

Senior Vice President - Fund Marketing

Nobuhiko Muta ("Nobu")

Mr. Muta is responsible for direct marketing to investors and client management of Matrix Japan.


Prior to joining Matrix Japan, Mr Muta served as Director of Sales & Client Services at Northern Trust Global Investments Japan, K.K. for 7 years, where he was responsible for both marketing to prospective institutional investors and managing all existing public / corporate pension sponsors.


He has more than 24 years of financial sector experience of which almost 18 years are in sales & client service in the Japanese asset management business.


He started his career at Citibank, N.A. Tokyo after graduating from Keio University with a degree in Political Science. Mr. Muta joined Citibank in 1994 and for 6 years he was involved in its corporate finance business predominately focused on asset finance (Japanese Leveraged Lease) and asset securitization as middle office manager managing SPC, ABCP funding, Due Diligence / Field Audit on originators’ assets.


In 2000, he transferred to an affiliate company, Cititrust and Banking Corporation where he worked in Institutional Sales and Marketing Department and started his career of sales & client service in asset management business. He and the team focused on introducing their group’s hedge fund strategy to Japanese pension sponsors and was successful in becoming one of the first asset managers to introduced hedge fund strategies into the Japanese pension markets. In 2003 Mr. Muta transferred to Private Banking Group at Cititrust where he involved in implementing group’s sales and marketing strategies for HNW and UHNW prospects/clients as investment counselor.


In 2004, Mr Muta moved to Citibank Securities (Japan) Ltd., and for the subsequent 3 years was involved in implementing sales and marketing strategies for direct sales to financial institutions and 3rd party distribution channels such as the Sales Groups of Citigroup Alternative Investment Business Unit.

Senior Advisor

Toshiya Justin Kuroda (“Toshi”)

Mr. Kuroda is responsible for Strategic Fund Investments as well as Specific Cross Border transactions.


Mr. Kuroda has more than 25 years of experience in private equity investment in real estate, distressed assets and non-performing loans, as well as in strategic asset management in Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles.  Prior to joining Matrix Japan, Mr. Kuroda was Managing Director and Representative of Oaktree Japan, K.K., the Tokyo office of Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Management L.P.  During his 12-year tenure at Oaktree, Mr. Kuroda’s accomplishments included a high-profiled investment in Japan Rental Housing Investment, Inc. (“JRH”), a Japanese REIT listed on TSE.  Mr. Kuroda led the team of professionals who completed the takeover bid on JRH, the first-ever such action completed on a Japanese REIT.  Mr. Kuroda also served as Executive Director of JRH and, under Mr. Kuroda’s leadership, JRH’s total assets grew from JPY100 billion to JPY220 billion through a strategic merger with another J-REIT and prudent acquisitions, and the dividend increased more than 2.4 times.


Before Oaktree, Mr. Kuroda worked for two years as Director at Kennedy Wilson Japan Co., Ltd. (formerly KW Investment, K.K.), where he acquired multi-family properties throughout Japan in the aggregate value of over JPY25 billion.  Mr. Kuroda’s other professional experience includes two years with KPMG LLP in Los Angeles as Senior Manager, four years with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (formerly Sakura Bank) also in Los Angeles, as Vice President, and one year at Kidder Peabody & Co. in New York as Analyst, and his track record comprises, among others, successful turnaround of distressed assets, underwriting and acquisition of non-performing loans in the aggregate UPB of more than USD50 billion.


Mr. Kuroda possesses a broad network of business contacts with investors, real estate companies, investment firms as well as financial institutions in Japan.


Mr. Kuroda has a B.A. degree in Law from Keio University in Tokyo.  He then went on to receive his MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  He also holds an LL.M. degree from Fordham University School of Law.  Mr. Kuroda is a member of the Bar of the State of New York.

Senior Advisor

Tetsutaro Muraki ("Taro")

External Advisor

Robert Howe (“Bob”)

Mr. Muraki is responsible for Strategic Investments, M&A transactions and specific Cross Border Joint Venture opportunities.


Mr. Muraki previously had several positions in Japan and outside Japan. Mr. Muraki started his career with Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC Warburg) in Tokyo where he advised Japanese companies in investment banking services and resided in London and Tokyo, and Zurich.  


After SBCW, Mr. Muraki joined the World Bank Group in Washington DC in 1996 where he worked on financial sector restructuring in Asia and investment projects in Asia with International Finance Corporation (IFC). In 1998, Mr. Muraki was appointed to work in the Bank`s representative office in Seoul, where he was responsible for capital market restructuring, restructuring of Chaebols, privatization of nationalized financial institutions, and establishing the Korea Asset Management Corporation (KAMCO). 


In 2003, Mr. Muraki joined Industrial Revitalization Corporation of Japan (“IRCJ”), the Japanese government-backed private equity firm with a fund size of 10 trillion Japanese Yen (100 billion USD) with an aim to assist ailing Japanese companies. IRCJ invested in 41 companies in various sectors from consumer products, manufacturing, airline to name a few. Mr. Muraki was appointed as a Chief Financial Officer of Kanebo Cosmetics Inc., the largest equity investment (380 billion yen or 3.2 billion USD) by IRCJ, which was successfully exited to Kao Corporation.  


After leaving IRCJ in 2006, Mr. Muraki joined Tokyo Stock Exchange to focus on the international business development and overseas investments by TSE. After holding several positions, Mr. Muraki was appointed as a CEO of TOKYO AIM, a joint venture by TSE and London Stock Exchange Group. In 2012, Mr. Muraki relocated to Singapore to establish a consulting and advisory office by Frontier Management to bridge investment opportunities to link Asia and Japan with his former colleagues from IRCJ.  


Mr. Muraki holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science from Sophia University in Tokyo and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, MA.

Bob is a Director of Matrix Ascent Partners.  He contributes to business strategy, client manager selection, review and due diligence as well as some direct marketing to institutional investors in Japan and Pan Asia.


Bob joined AIG Global Investment Corporation in 1998 as Chief Investment Officer--AIG’s third party asset management company and at that time a joint venture with Mitsubishi Trust.  In 1999 he assumed the role of President and then in 2003 he became Chairman.  His responsibilities were supervision and implementation of Japanese equity long-only strategies, supervision of all managed and sub-managed strategies, and approval of marketing and in-person marketing of the Japanese equity products.  Assets under management rose from US$2.5b in 1998 to US$11b in 2005. In 2004 Bob won the Morningstar #1 Japan Fund award.  As a veteran global investor, Bob was one of five members of AIG’s Global Asset Allocation Committee, overseeing some US$100bil in global assets.


Bob is also the founder of Geomatrix, an incubator of Asia-focused hedge fund strategies.  Geomatrix holds a Type 9 Discretionary Investment Advisory license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, has been inspected by the SFC three times since it was founded in 1996.  


Bob holds an MBA in finance from Harvard Graduate School of Business, and a BA in economics from Yale University. Bob was a founding board member of the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) society in Japan, and remains active in CFA societies in Hong Kong and Hawaii. 

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