Meet Our Deal Professionals
Hayato Watanabe, CFA
Senior Vice President, Head of Asia
Hayato brings a wealth of entrepreneurship and financial advisory expertise to Locust Walk, being involved in private equity, venture financing and investment banking for nearly 20 years. He has focused on financing healthcare related and early-stage bio techs supporting their growth from preclinical to clinical stage development.
Prior to joining Locust Walk, Hayato was Venture Partner at Eight Roads, a proprietary venture investment arm of FIL, Fidelity International Limited, where he spearheaded its biotech investments. Hayato was involved in numerous state-of-the art biotech startup financings, closing two company formation deals related to gene editing and regenerative medicine and one global financing deal which involved coordinating with Fidelity’s global investment teams from China, India to Boston. Prior to Eight Roads, Hayato was Director at Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) a government backed private equity investment company, being responsible for biotech and healthcare venture investments where he lead a number of bio-tech investments in areas of CNS, ophthalmology and regenerative medicine. He was also a part of INCJ’s effort in collaborating with research organizations such as RIKEN and major national universities in novel areas such as regenerative medicine cell and gene therapy.
Hayato began his career in investment banking at Nikko Salomon Smith Barney (current Citigroup) in mergers and acquisitions being involved in a number of transformative mergers amongst large Japanese pharma.
Hayato received his Masters of Law from Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of Law (Tokyo, Japan) and a Bachelors of Law from Hitotsubashi University and has spent a year at the London School of Economics and Political Science (General Course) focusing on European Union Law research.
Hayato lives in Tokyo with his wife and two children. Hayato is an active entrepreneur himself, founding Fermenstation, a bioethanol startup with his wife Lina in 2009. Other than helping his wife out with Fermenstation, he enjoys marathon running, traveling with his family and coaching his son’s little league baseball.
He is a FINRA registered representative and holds his Series 79 and 63 licenses.