FT Dealmakers and Dealbreakers will bring together top executives and stakeholders from across Japan's corporate landscape to consider the biggest trends in corporate governance, cross-border dealmaking and private equity. The event will examine the part investors are playing in changing corporate behaviour as well as the growing pressures Japan Inc faces to improve governance standards. It will also probe the changing role of private capital and the lessons learned from a period of intensified overseas dealmaking for domestic companies.
FT Dealmakers and Dealbreakers Tokyo
LIXIL Group Corporation
Ichigo Asset Management
Kinya Seto serves as Director, Executive Officer, President and CEO of LIXIL Group Corporation. He was appointed to these roles in June 2019, and previously between January 2016 and October 2018. He also assumed the role of Representative Director, Chairman and Chairperson of the Board of LIXIL Corporation in June 2019.
Seto began his career with Sumitomo Corporation, a major Japanese trading company, in 1983. After holding various key posts at Sumitomo Corporation, he established more than 10 companies in Japan and overseas, including MonotaRO Corporation, a direct marketer of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies, which under his leadership grew into one of the largest and most profitable MRO distribution companies in Japan. Seto served as President and Director of MonotaRO from 2006 and then became Chairman and Director in 2012. He also previously served as Non-Executive Director of Zoro Tools, Inc. (now Zoro Inc.) and President of K-engine Co. Ltd.
Seto's other global leadership roles include having lead Asia Pacific operations for W.W. Grainger, Inc., a leading global MRO supplier, and heading it's global online business operations based out of London.
Yoshiaki Fujimori is a Senior Executive Advisor at CVC Japan and the Chairman of Oracle Japan Mr. Fujumori joined CVC in 2017. He currently serves as Chairman of Oracle Japan. He is a member of the Board of Toshiba Corporation, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Boston Scientific. Previously he spent 5 years as CEO at LIXIL Group Corporation. Prior to that, he was Chairman and CEO of GE Japan and Senior Vice President of General Electric. He spent 25 years at General Electric for various CEO roles including GE Plastics, GE Healthcare Asia and GE Money Asia. Mr. Fujimori holds an engineering bachelor’s degree from the University of Tokyo and MBA from Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University where he serves as board of trustee.
Scott Callon is Chairman of Ichigo (2337), a sustainable infrastructure company that is a member of the JPX-Nikkei 400, and CEO of Ichigo Asset Management, a long-term Japan investor. Callon has served on a number of Japanese government bodies, including the FSA Council of Experts that drafted Japan’s Corporate Governance Code and METI’s Ito Review, and is one of three judges for the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s annual Corporate Value Improvement Award, awarded to Japan’s top company in corporate value creation. Callon graduated from Princeton University (summa cum laude) and has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University. He is the author of Divided Sun: MITI and the Breakdown of Japanese High-Tech Industrial Policy, 1975-1993, winner of the Arisawa Prize.
Hirofumi Hirano (Tokyo) joined KKR in 2013 and is a Partner, Co-Head of Private Equity for KKR Asia Pacific, and CEO of KKR Japan. He serves on the KKR Asia Private Equity Investment Committee and the KKR Asia Portfolio Management Committee. At KKR, he has been involved with investments including PHC Holdings (former Panasonic Healthcare), AlphaTheta (former Pioneer DJ), Magneti Marelli CK Holdings (former Calsonic Kansei), Koki Holdings (former Hitachi Koki) and Kokusai Electric (former Hitachi Kokusai Electric). Prior to joining KKR, Mr. Hirano worked at AlixPartners as the Japan representative and head of financial services in Asia. From 1999 to 2006, Mr. Hirano led the principal investment arm of Nikko Cordial Group (now known as SMBC Nikko Securities) and became Chairman of Nikko Principal Investments. Mr. Hirano played a significant role in investments including Tower Records Japan, Nikko Asset Management, Bell System 24, Seibu Railways and Styling Life Holdings (Sony’s retail business group) where he served as board member for these companies. Mr. Hirano graduated from Keio University and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Shogo Ikeuchi joined Recruit (currently Recruit Holdings) in 1988. After involvement in a supercomputer project and the Corporate Planning Department, he transferred to the Human Resources Department in 1993 where he engaged in HR design. In 2000, he moved to the Office of Corporate Planning, where he formulated mid- and long-term growth strategies, promoted new business development, and facilitated overseas business expansion. He became Executive Officer in 2005 and Corporate Executive Officer and Board Director in 2012. In 2014, he was appointed Representative Director of Recruit USA, Inc. He became Senior Managing Corporate Executive Officer and Board Director in April 2016. After a spell as CSO and CHRO, he is currently responsible for the Human Resource / General Affairs Division as CHRO.
Mr. Konuma joined the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in 1984. He has served in the listing, equities, and international business development departments. His experience includes being seconded to the Bank of Tokyo (currently, MUFG Bank, Ltd.). He is charge of developing and improving the listing rules for ETF and other asset-backed products and bringing them to the TSE market. Mr. Konuma also leads activities to encourage domestic and overseas companies to list in Japan and increase their corporate value in the market. He graduated from Keio University and received an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mitsuhiro Kamiya is the leader of Skadden’s Tokyo office. He represents Japanese and multinational clients in a broad range of corporate matters with special focus on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint venture transactions, shareholder activism and corporate governance. Mr. Kamiya's practice covers all major aspects of corporate transactions, such as advice on complex legal structuring of acquisitions and major legal issues including corporate, intellectual property, antitrust and labor laws. Mr. Kamiya was selected for inclusion by Chambers Global, Chambers Asia-Pacific, The Asia Pacific Legal 500 and The Best Lawyers for Corporate/M&A in Japan. Mr. Kamiya received a LL.B from the University of Tokyo, a LL.M from the University of Cambridge and a LL.M from Columbia University School of Law (Stone Scholar; Associate Editor, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law) and is admitted to practice in Japan (Bengoshi) and New York.
Zuhair Khan manages a governance-focused, market-neutral, Japanese equity long-short strategy at UBP. Prior to joining UBP, he had been the Head of Research and Japan Strategist at Jefferies; where his research focused on corporate governance reform, shareholder activism and event driven strategies. Zuhair has 25 years of experience at global financial institutions, including UBS, Citigroup and MUFG. He has an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with dual degrees from the School of Engineering and the Wharton School.
Kenton J. King
Kenton J. King is widely recognized as one of the preeminent corporate attorneys in the United States. He offers his clients a strong focus on the technology, semiconductor and biotech sectors, regularly handling complex, cross-border M&A transactions and advising companies and boards on shareholder activism and corporate governance matters. Mr. King also represents companies in joint ventures and other strategic partnering transactions, investment and capital markets matters and restructurings. Fluent in Japanese, Mr. King has represented numerous U.S. and Japanese corporations in connection with cross-border transactions. He also has advised multinational corporations on acquisitions and joint ventures in multiple jurisdictions in Europe and Asia. He was resident in Skadden’s Tokyo office in the early 1990s and worked for several years in the Tokyo headquarters of one of Japan’s largest integrated trading companies. Mr. King has been recognized in virtually every major legal ranking guide, and is ranked in Band 1 in the Foreign Expert, Japan category for Chambers Global. He is a member of Skadden’s Policy Committee, the firm's governing body.
Daisuke Kitta is the Head of Blackstone Japan, Head of Real Estate Japan and is a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone based in Tokyo. Mr Kitta is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Real Estate group’s investment activities in Japan as well as all business and administrative functions for the office. Since joining Blackstone in 2008, Mr. Kitta has been involved in analyzing various real estate investment opportunities in Japan. Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Kitta worked at Deutsche Bank, where he was responsible for originating and executing real estate transactions in Japan. Mr. Kitta received a degree in Economics from Nihon University and also graduated with a B.S. from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.
Akira Yamashita is a reporter for NIKKEI, based in Tokyo. Akira Yamashita joined NIKKEI after graduating college in 2005 and was based in Tokyo, covering various industries such as consumer products, food and beverage, trading companies and financial companies. From 2014 until March 2018 he was based in New York as a correspondent, covering the financial industry, investors and markets. Throughout his career, he has continued to write multiple articles about investment banking business, accounting and corporate law. His special interest areas are M&A, corporate governance and markets. Yamashita holds a BA from Sophia University.
Arash Massoudi is Corporate Finance and Deals Editor at the Financial Times based in London, where he has worked since 2014. Prior to that, he was capital markets reporter in the FT's New York bureau. He is the co-creator of the FT’s premium corporate finance briefing called Due Diligence. He joined the FT in London in 2011 from the US government where he served in the Commerce department.
Kana Inagaki is a Tokyo Correspondent for Financial Times, and writes about Japanese businesses and technology. She joined the FT in 2014 after four years as a Tokyo correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, where she covered the technology sector, M&A and markets. Prior to The Journal, Inagaki worked at Kyodo News, covering market and corporate news. She began her career at the Tokyo bureau of Associated Press, covering Japanese politics. She is a native of Vancouver, Canada, and earned her Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago.
Leo Lewis is the Financial Times’ Tokyo correspondent, appointed in 2015. He covers financial markets, investment, banking, and a broad sweep of Japanese industry, from the largest corporate names to the microcap stocks that form the backbone of the country’s SME economy. He is a regular writer for the Short View and Market Insight columns. Mr Lewis’s experience of Japan and Asia is extensive – before becoming a journalist and working in London for the Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers, he graduated in Oriental Studies and was awarded a Toyota Trevelyan scholarship in 1996. In 2003 he returned to Japan as the Tokyo Business Correspondent for The Times (of London) and later became Asia Business Correspondent, leading business and economic coverage of the Asian region and travelling extensively. In 2010 he left Tokyo to spend almost five years as Beijing bureau chief for The Times, covering China during an electrifying period that saw the rise of Xi Jinping and the downfall of Bo Xilai. Mr Lewis is a regular contributor to TV and radio broadcasts, providing analysis on Japan and the broader region. He is the co-author of Japanamerica – a book that investigated the globalisation of Japanese pop culture.
Agenda - 15th Oct
Arash Massoudi, Corporate Finance and Deals Editor, Financial Times and Kana Inagaki, Tokyo Correspondent, Financial Times
1:40pmKEYNOTE INTERVIEW: The CEO’s Perspective on Outbound Investment
Kinya Seto, the CEO of Lixil, discusses the challenges arising from cross-border M&A and his dramatic return to the helm of the Japanese housing products conglomerate following a landmark proxy battle.
Kinya Seto, CEO, Lixil
Interviewed by: Kana Inagaki, Tokyo Correspondent, Financial Times
2:10pmPANEL DISCUSSION: Outbound Investment -- Will the rise of cross-border M&A continue to drive corporate growth?
Japanese corporates are continuing to look abroad for assets that will boost future growth, fueled by low borrowing rates. But challenges remain, both on the regulatory side and culturally, particularly during the integration phase. How do the risks balance out against the rewards? How do acquisitive Japanese companies convince shareholders to fund their expansion? Meanwhile, foreign companies’ interest in Japan remains high, but the barriers to successfully executing a deal remain daunting. How can these obstacles be overcome?
Shogo Ikeuchi, CHRO and Senior Managing Corporate Executive Officer and Board Director, Recruit Holdings
Mitsuhiro Kamiya, Bengoshi Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Akira Yamashita, Reporter, NIKKEI
Moderated by: Arash Massoudi, Corporate Finance and Deals Editor, Financial Times
2:50pmFT INTERVIEW: Shareholder Governance -- The investor’s perspective
This fireside chat with a large investor will explore the factors driving increased interest in the Japanese market.
3:10pmPANEL DISCUSSION: The Changing Role of Private Equity -- How is an asset class that was once shunned now becoming accepted?
In light of government-driven business sector reforms, the Japanese market is an increasing priority for global investors. Hear from leading practitioners on what the new interest from private equity means for the corporate landscape, and how PE investors are trying to revitalise underperforming companies and accelerate global growth.
Hiro Hirano, Member, Co-Head of Private Equity, KKR Asia Pacific, and Chief Executive Officer, KKR Japan
Daisuke Kitta, Head of Blackstone Japan & Head of Real Estate Japan Blackstone
Moderated by: Kana Inagaki, Tokyo Correspondent, Financial Times
4:10pmPANEL DISCUSSION: Corporate Governance -- How can tensions be resolved?
Global investors are increasingly targeting undervalued, cash-rich Japanese corporations as an opportunity to generate returns. Some have pushed for higher dividends and buybacks while others have gone further and demanded the kind of strategic reforms that unsettle Japanese managers. In November, the government included measures considered by some as anti-activist in a new amendment to market rules, a backlash that investors long suspected was coming. This panel will explore the evolving role of investors in corporate Japan, and how key stakeholders can navigate organisational and regulatory change.
Scott Callon, CEO, Ichigo Asset Management
Yoshiaki Fujimori, Senior Executive Advisor CVC Japan and Chairman, Oracle Japan
Zuhair Khan, Senior Fund Manager, Union Bancaire Privee Asset Management
Kenton J. King, Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Yasuyuki Konuma, Director and Senior Executive Officer, Tokyo Stock Exchange
Moderated by: Leo Lewis, Tokyo Correspondent, Financial Times
4:50pmCLOSING KEYNOTE INTERVIEW
Toshihide Endo, Commissioner, Financial Services Agency (FSA)
Moderated by: Leo Lewis, Tokyo Correspondent, Financial Times
Leo Lewis, Tokyo Correspondent, Financial Times
5:20pmNetworking Drinks Reception
Complimentary places are strictly available to individuals who meet the following criteria:
- Senior Corporate Dealmakers (C-suite, Head of/VP/Director of M&A or Corporate Development)
- Senior Private Equity Representatives (Partners, Investment Directors)
- Government and Regulators
- Institutional Investors
If you meet the criteria and would like to apply to attend, please complete the short application form*
*Places are strictly limited and subject to approval by the Publisher.
A limited number of paying tickets are available for senior representatives from the following organisations:
- Investment Banks
- Legal Firms
- PR/Communication Firms Firms
- M&A Insurers
- Data/software integration companies
For further enquiries, please don't hesitate to contact a member of the team. Our dedicated team are both Japanese and English speaking and will be happy to assist with your registration.
Presented by (1)
The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.
Founding Partner (1)
With 22 offices, approximately 1,700 attorneys and 50-plus practice areas, Skadden advises corporations and financial institutions on business transactions and operations throughout Asia Pacific, the United States, Europe and globally. With approximately 100 attorneys residing in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo, Skadden has the resources to handle the largest and most complex matters involving entities throughout the region. Opened in 1987, Skadden’s Tokyo office was the first international office of the firm. We operate as a gaikokuho kyodo jigyo (foreign law joint enterprise) with bengoshi who are licensed to practice law and appear in Japanese courts. Skadden has extensive experience representing a broad spectrum of Japanese, U.S., European and other international clients in highly diverse and complex cross-border transactions involving global markets. These transactions include: mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures; shareholder activism and corporate governance; capital markets and structured finance transactions; and real estate acquisitions, joint ventures, and debt and equity financings. We also assist clients in restructurings and in the formation of investment funds.
Media Partner (1)
Nikkei is a world-renowned media brand for Asian news, respected for quality journalism and for being a trusted provider of business news and information. Founded as a market news provider in Japan in 1876, Nikkei has grown into one of the world’s largest media corporations, with 37 foreign editorial bureaus and approximately 1,500 journalists worldwide. Nikkei acquired the Financial Times in 2015. Combined readership of the Nikkei and the FT totals approx. 4 million.
1-9-1 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku