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About Us

Caerus Golf Capital is a fund management company specializing in golf real estate-specific private equity funds.

Business Address

Caerus Golf Capital Limited
14/F San Toi Building
137-139 Connaught Road Central
Hong Kong

What We Do

Big Island aerial shot - coastal golf course

Caerus assumes the role of General Partner of the limited partnership private equity funds.  Thus, it is fully responsible, by law, for investment management, ranging from deal sourcing, appointing corporate managers to planning for investment exit.  The Caerus team possesses industry, business and management knowledge, as well as investment and financing expertise.

Key roles and responsibilities include:

Fund Raising

  • Sourcing potential investors, presenting and executing LP contracts

Investment

  • Build strategy for acquisitions and source potential acquisitions
  • Execute investments/divestments
  • Manage the operations of the Investment Committee

Fund Accounting

  • Manage all capital calls and distributions
  • Report accurate financial data at the end of each quarter, conforming to US GAAP and IFRS

Auditing

  • Internal audit function of fund accounting reports directly to the investment committee
  • Annual 3rd party audit of all entities conducted by an established audit firm
  • External audit and approval of LP investment activity statements, capital calls and distributions
  • On-going 3rd party audit of all offshore transactions, including process audits

Reporting

  • Quarterly LP personalized investment reports
  • Annual reporting package: Previous 12 month investment activity and operational performance
  • Executive summary of asset specific business plans, minutes from investment committee and periodical reports on compliance

 

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Value-Add CAPEX Projects

Post-acquisition capital investment projects will have the same thorough approach as the acquisition underwriting.

In most cases, the acquisition target will have deferred maintenance and overdue capital improvement projects. Owners exploring a sale do not have a long-term vision and reduce their budgets to maintain short-term overall profitability. A common mistake for a new sponsor is to carelessly re-invest back into the asset without a strategy or an understanding of its return on capital. Our approach:

Measure standalone return on capital

  • Foundationally, each potential capital investment will be considered according to its value as though it were an isolated business, and be underwritten accordingly

Assess intrinsic value

  • How does the capital improvement impact the perception of the overall asset value? Does it add premium value?
  • Both tangible and intangible values need to be considered and should be based around the “brand value” to attract the emotional buyer in addition to the traditional value investor.

Assess impact on enterprise value and exit liquidity

  • Separate to a market capitalization approach, what does the re-investment do to attract a larger pool of potential buyers?
  • For capital improvements not directly linked to operational profitability, such as engineering upgrades to the clubhouse, cost and timing of the investment are crucial.

Aggressive but sound approach to non-golf businesses

  • Create and invest into businesses that leverage the existing golf customer base, allowing it to capture a higher share of the big picture value chain
  • Ensure studies and costs required for real estate development projects are kept up-to-date so that swift action can be taken when the timing is right

 

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Our Team

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Caerus’ team is led by Taku Iwasaki, who has 20+ years of golf-related private equity and operations experience, of which 10 years were serving as Managing Partner and CEO.  Taku is supported by a management team with outstanding personal and organizational track records, covering crucial areas of expertise such as agronomy, food & beverage and sales & marketing.


The team combines for:

  • 150 years of business experience
  • 110 years of hospitality industry experience
  • 75 years of golf industry experience
  • 70 years of international business experience
  • 62 years of business experience in Asia
  • 250+ golf courses managed in 5 continents and 24 countries
  • 100+ golf course acquisitions

 

 

Taku Iwasaki, CEO

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Founder and CEO of the Caerus Golf Capital Ltd (Hong Kong) and The Mana Initiative LLC, Taku has a formidable track record in golf-related private equity investment, business development, asset management, and operations. A native Canadian and graduate of Carleton University in Ottawa, Taku has been in the business of golf for more than 20 years.

Taku is responsible for the investment, management and portfolio management strategy of the company. His main tasks include building the portfolio management strategy, sourcing major investors & acquisition leads and recruiting top executive positions. His primary core competency and focus, however, is in operations – and one will most often see him at the acquired properties working with the on-site management team to continually create unique and measurable value.

His most recent post was Managing Partner of the Izanami Group in Japan, a co-investment venture with Grove International Partners that founded an entire platform for investment, asset management and operations. Previous professional roles in the golf industry include: CEO of a major golf asset and management company with 9 golf courses, 2 hotels and approximately 500 employees under management; and, Senior Manager responsible for the management of 11 golf courses, 1 hotel and nearly 1,000 employees. In addition to golf operations, Taku has extensive experience in M&A activity, large-scale contract negotiations, legal restructuring, tax planning and investor relations.

Taku has managed or inspected approximately 10% of the world’s 32,000+ golf courses and has been recognized as a “turnaround expert” by both general business and golf industry international media – including CNN International and Nikkei Industry Daily. He has served as a board member for more than 20 companies and is an active member of numerous organizations, including the National Golf Course Owner’s Association (NCGOA).

In addition to the golf industry, Taku’s previous tenures include senior consulting economist roles for major Japanese corporations, Japanese federal government departments and agencies in Canada, as well as the Managing Editor of the Canada-Japan Business Review. Taku is originally from Toronto, Ontario, and will be based out of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Highlights of Taku’s Track Record

  • Led, oversaw, or was a part of a team for the acquisitions process (due diligence, valuation, closing) of more than 300 golf courses worldwide, of which approximately 40% closed
  • Successfully completed 100% of all legal restructuring attempts playing the role of filer, trustee or new sponsor representative for more than 20 golf companies
  • Cumulative total of 40 golf courses under direct management as a General Manager, regional manager, COO or CEO – all of which performed better before predecessor
  • 600%+ EBITDA improvement of an 11 course portfolio over 3 years as a manager with regional responsibility Vast experience in capital expenditure projects including scrap and build projects, resort and other ancillary development projects
  • Cultivated and personally championed new initiatives in foreign markets such as tee-sheet and yield management systems, pace of play programs, employee training and transition programs, expense management systems, professional and amateur tournament operations, loyalty and membership programs

 

 

John Oki, General Counsel

A native of Hawaii and graduate of UCLA and Georgetown Law, John is an established lawyer who has practiced at major law firms in New York City, USA (Davis Hoxie Faithful & Hapgood), Tokyo, Japan (Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu), and Seoul, Korea (Lee International Law Group).

John’s practical approach to the law has also seen him excel as in-house counsel for a number of successful companies including Pfizer Inc., and Empire Blue Cross & Blue Shield, both of which were based out of New York City, USA.

As Caerus’ General Counsel, John will be fully utilizing his extensive network and practical experience in M&A transactions, real estate acquisitions, commercial and cross border transactions.

 

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Kevin Connell, VP Food & Beverage

  • Scottsdale Culinary Institute
  • Chefs in America Award Winner 1993
  • 27 years experience in F&B industry, including 5 years internationally

Kevin is an established executive chef with considerable culinary knowledge and technique. Kevin’s greatest asset however, lies in his ability to conceptualize and create award-winning and financially successful restaurant businesses.

Past accomplishments include the dramatic turnaround of the Tokyo American Club restaurant business, a massive $20 million annual revenue business with seven F&B outlets and 230 staff.

Kevin has established himself in a wide array of F&B businesses, ranging from award-winning upscale restaurant start-ups to managing large-scale convention centers, multi-outlet mega-institutions, and award-winning golf clubs.

 

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Rick Kroeger, VP Agronomy

  • Penn State University
  • 40 years golf industry experience
  • Widely regarded as one of the best agronomists in the world

A graduate with distinction of the prestigious Penn State University Golf Course Management program and top agronomist, Rick is a strong relational leader, skilled influencer and team player experienced in the climates of 20 countries spanning 5 continents. His consulting includes World “Top 100″ courses which have held PGA, LPGA, USGA, US Men’s Senior Tour & Asian LPGA events – training staff to create professional tournament conditions in any climate anywhere in the world. He is an author of articles published in 5 languages globally.

Accomplishments include World #1 Pine Valley Golf Club and development of World #45 The Club at Nine Bridges, the latter in which he championed the use of Bentgrass on fairways for the very first time in Korea.

 

golf greens attendent

 

Hideaki Iwata, Asia Sales Director

  • Colorado State University
  • 18 years hospitality sales experience, including 5 years as a leading sales and marketing executive in the golf industry

Hideaki utilizes a combination of traditional sales techniques with a creative product development and marketing approach, and has consistently been a top- tier sales performer in large hospitality organizations, including the golf industry.

Over a 10 year tenure with a leading rental car company, Hideaki not only cultivated new sales channels leading them to overtake major domestic rivals for regional market share, he consistently had the highest individual sales of any rental car company for the Hawaii region in the Asia-Pacific region.

In the golf industry, he championed new product development, use of non- traditional sales channels and strategic marketing to growing demographics – all resulting in vast increases in revenues and customer satisfaction.

 

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The Mana Initiative

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A 100% subsidiary of Caerus Golf Capital Limited (Hong Kong), The Mana Initiative (Mana) is a golf real estate asset management and operations company specializing in building value through operational changes, shrewd investments, ancillary real estate and resort development.

Services provided:

  • Golf course real estate asset management
  • Golf club management & golf marketing and sales
  • Valuation, due diligence and transaction administration for all Caerus acquisitions
  • Corporate finance and fund management administration support
  • Project and asset management for ancillary development projects such as resort, residential, timeshare and restaurant development

About Us

Our golf operations and golf course management teams have been supporting some of the best known golf courses internationally for over 30 years, including World Top 100 courses in the United States and Asia.

Mana’s diverse team of highly experienced golf executives have enhanced the reputations and profitability of managed courses through the implementation of highest quality management and development systems. Our highest quality customer services and playing conditions are the result of customized coaching and training methods, focused customer relations, attention to detail, scientific expertise and decades of experience in the topography climates and cultures of 18 countries spanning 5 continents in both hemispheres.

The secret to our club management success is the way we develop people.  Highest quality playing conditions and superior member services are the result of our passionate coaching and personal training system.  The staff of every property we manage recognize that our strong personal commitment to them must be matched by their strong personal commitment to the service of our customers.

 

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Behind the Name

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In Hawaiian culture, Mana is a form of a spiritual energy and also healing power which can exist in places, objects and persons. Mana is also interpreted as “the stuff of which magic is formed“, as well as the substance of which souls are made.

While it isn’t The Mana Initiative’s mission to reinvent the game of golf, we do firmly believe in a new business model for the game. Friendly and hospitable service, high quality products and services, more choices, a more comprehensive experience, and lifestyle options centered around the game of golf – “The Omotenashi Experience”.

 

 

What We Do

website phot mana what we doAsset Management
• Deal sourcing, acquisition due diligence, valuation
• Closing and acquisition transition
• Handling of real estate and compliance issues
• Board services and front office role with local financial institutions
• Conduct internal audit
• Liaison for external audits
• Tax and legal liaison for assets

Technical Management
• Agronomic science and irrigation
• Course maintenance operations
• Fleet management (maintenance equipment and golf carts)
• Food and beverage operations
• Clubhouse engineering
• Club IT systems, tee sheet management, loyalty programs
• Yield management systems

Finance
• Capital strategy
• Tax structure, corporate finance
• Financing projects, lender relations • Management accounting
• Tax and legal
• Auditing and reporting
• IT & HR infrastructure
• Process and business engineering
• Internal control and governance


Hospitality Management
• Customer service training
• Budgeting, P/L and cash management systems
• Sales and marketing
• Membership programs
• Staff training and development
• Capital expenditure projects
• Change management
• Merchandising programs

 

 

Our Core Competencies

Istock-Apples-and-OrangesAgronomy

  • Creative solutions for increased quality and efficiency
  • In-house expertise and infrastructure for latest turfgrass sciences and maintenance practices
  • National contracts for turfgrass equipment, fertilizer, and other key procured items to reduce costs

Food and Beverage

  • Product selection and quality that lead or enhance the overall customer experience
  • Concept, financial and operational planning
  • Labor management, COGS analysis, POS consulting, lease structuring and negotiation

Sales and Marketing

  • Cultivating the local and tourist markets with traditional and proprietary channels alike
  • Comprehensive market studies and property- specific marketing plans and budgets
  • Digital marketing and social media
  • Proprietary sales/marketing channels in Asia

 

 

 

“Omotenashi”: What We Strive To Be

The Japan Times – May 4 2014
“Omotenashi” is hard to define, but Japanese use it to describe what they believe is their unique approach to hospitality. “Omotenashi” involves the subjugation of self in service to a guest, without being “servile”. Anticipating needs is at the heart of the concept; and it is certainly fair to say that in Japan, acting on others’ needs without being asked to do so is at the height of savvy.  If, in the course of a service encounter in Japan, you’ve ever been left thinking “How did they think of that?”, you’ve probably been “omotenashi’d.”

Not even the most comprehensive service manual can help produce Omotenashi hospitality – it is a byproduct of a genuine passion to provide customer experiences far exceeding expectations. Omotenashi is often a result  of an individual act, but is borne from an infectious team spirit.  Perhaps it will take some time for Mana to have a fully-incorporated Omotenashi DNA, but as a company, we preach and strive to make it our defining charcteristic every day.

From the land that helped us incorporate “haiku”, “umami”, and “zen” into our lives, we believe Omotenashi is a universal concept that will be equallly, if not more embraced than our top course conditions, immaculate clubhouse facilities and amazing food experiences.

 

omotenashi

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