Prior to 2012, Japan’s weak Return on Equity (ROE) was seen as evidence that Japanese management teams were still working for customers, employees and suppliers but not shareholders. By 2012, it was understood that this underperformance was driven in part by poor corporate governance.
The effectiveness of Prime Minister Abe’s efforts related to corporate governance and stewardship has been met with mixed reviews in terms of increasing shareholder focus and shareholder rights. With the Nikkei on post-bubble record highs, investors are looking for the next big sign of a shifting focus to shareholders. Mr. Ken Hokugo believes significant structural problems remain in the areas of “Allegiant Shareholders” or Keiretsu cross-holdings that shield management teams from shareholder oversight. He believes that independent directors are still not positioned to protect shareholders.
At this presentation, Mr. Hokugo will discuss what impact he believes the government policies have had on shifting focus from stakeholders to shareholders. He will also provide insight into what changes he believes need to occur for Japanese companies to come into greater alignment with global investor expectations.
Ken Hokugo is Director, Head of Corporate Governance at Pension Fund Association, which is one of the largest public pension funds of Japan with AUM of approximately USD110bn equivalent. Prior to joining PFA, he worked at the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation’s (“Sumitomo”) Tokyo Head Office and was responsible for designing and implementing the strategy for its global asset management business.
From 1995 to 2010, he worked at Sumitomo’s New York Office where he mainly worked on special projects, from its own M&A to major business collaboration with other firms as well as the research for the new businesses/asset classes. He later took on various portfolio management initiatives being mindful of shareholders’ value as the CFO of Sumitomo’s Americas Division. Today, he also is Director, Co-Head, Hedge Fund Investments at PFA, responsible for the USD5bn hedge fund portfolio. Mr. Hokugo received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Keio University and MBA from Columbia Business School.
There are a limited number of seats so please register soon. NO WALK-INS ACCEPTED.
Event venue generously provided by Matthews Asia