Meet the Team
David Shirt (Founder & CEO)
David Shirt has lived and worked in Japan for the last 24 years, working primarily in the equity world of big banks. Most of his experience in Japan has been at JP Morgan, where for a long period of time he was the Head of Equity, but he has also been the Branch Manager of Jefferies Japan and Macquarie Japan. Between 2015 – 2018, David additionally oversaw the asset management, leasing, capital markets and investment banking businesses of Macquarie Japan. This helped him build out his network substantially and gain experience in a wide range of different business.
Before establishing Waporta, David spent the previous 2 years setting up Astris Advisory Japan, a fully licensed financial institution, in which he still works as CEO. David has a wide network of connections in Japan and through the last 10 years in finance, has spent much of that time helping to facilitate discourse between Japan and offshore investors, companies and service providers. Having spent nearly a quarter of a century in Japan, he is now more aware than ever before, that corporate Japan is looking increasingly offshore as a focus to deploy their significant cash pile.
David speaks Japanese, having studied the language at the University of Sheffield in the early 90s. He is a diehard fan of Sheffield United FC and has two young sons in training for future positions on the team.
Hiroyuki Yokoyama (Founder and Senior Director)
Hiroyuki Yokoyama has worked in the financial industry for nearly 30 years. During this time, Hiro accumulated significant experience and contacts within the corporate and asset management industries both in Japan and overseas. Particularly so during his tenure at Macquarie Japan where his prime focus was capital raising and advisory for corporates in an array of different industries including, Tech, IT software, Biotech, Internet, E-Commerce, Gaming and a broad range of industrial companies.
Throughout his career, Hiro has developed a keen sense of understanding of corporate culture and this has helped him execute a number of prominent financial transactions.
Personally, he is passionate about new challenges and his life-time hobby, surfing, gives him a new challenge every time he hits the beach. His most recent challenge is practicing Aikido and he believes any type of martial arts gives you discipline both physically and mentally. Aikido, in particular, gives a sense of understanding of Zen spirituality where you try to get in touch with your unconscious.
John Byrne (Founder & CTO)
John Byrne (Founder and CTO) moved to Japan in 2002 and has resided in Tokyo ever since. After finishing a diploma in Fibre Optics and Network Engineering, he later graduated with a degree in Software Engineering from Carlow Institute of Technology, Ireland.
John joined Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) as a graduate where he worked on developing various in-house tools and scripts to automate benchmark testing later displayed on Sun’s web based intranet.
John himself is an entrepreneur and has started 3 different businesses in Japan – Ascent Global Partners (Executive Recruitment), Aobadai Associates (Real Estate) & C60 Tokyo (E-Commerce) where he personally developed and designed each one of the webpages, before joining the Waporta team. In addition to his background in technology, John has developed a significant amount of senior relationships within the Japanese financial market. John speaks and conducts business in Japanese.
Personally, John follows Liverpool FC and is delighted with their first Premier League Title this year.
Andrew Phillips (Corporate Advisory)
Andrew Phillips (Corporate Advisory)
Andrew has lived in Japan for 25 years, with 20 years of Japanese equity experience.
He started his career with 10 years on the sell-side as an analyst covering the automotive sector at Citigroup, KBC and BNP Paribas, and then switched to the buyside, initially at Rockhampton Management and most recently at Point 72 Asset Management,, mainly covering the broader automotive sector.
He is a fluent Japanese speaker, having come to Japan on a Monbusho Japanese government scholarship, and is a graduate of Kobe University where he majored in Economics.