Corporate Governance Japan

Apr. 22, 2020

About This Event

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Shareholder activism in Asia has reached a record high and shows no signs of slowing down as western investors dive into a once-untapped market and domestic investors use western tactics to gain a voice at long-entrenched companies. Asian companies, which have typically resisted listening to shareholder activist ideas, are changing their tune. Japan has become a greenfield for western activists seeking new opportunities abroad, while the Japanese market has also provided a home for some domestic investors to enact change. As a result, management teams and boards are being forced to listen.

Corporate Governance Japan 2020 explores the barriers for activists operating in Japan. Senior journalists from The Deal, the leading U.S. news source on activism, M&A and changes in corporate control, will be joined by the most respected investors and corporate executives to examine the types of governance initiatives, assessments, engagement programs and communication strategies companies should institute in readiness for when an activist comes calling.

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Speakers

Jin Song Montesano
Chief Public Affairs Officer, Chief People Officer, LIXIL Group Corporation
Jin is the Chief Public Affairs Officer and Chief People Officer of LIXIL Group Corporation.
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Domenic Brancati
Chief Executive Officer, UK/Europe, Georgeson
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Stefan Charette
Founder and CEO, Athanase Industrial Partners
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Benjamin Colton
Head of Asia Pacific Asset Stewardship, State Street Global Advisors
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Ken Hokugo
Director, Hedge Fund Investments; Director, Corporate Governance, Pension Fund Association
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Tsuyoshi Maruki
Founder, President, and CEO, Strategic Capital, Inc.
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Alicia Ogawa
Columbia Business School's Center on Japanese Economy and Business
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Cas Sydorowitz
Global Head of Activism, Georgeson
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John Trammell
Managing Director, Global Strategic Relationships, Symphony Financial Partners
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Agenda

9:00am – 9:30am
Registration and Breakfast
9:30am – 9:35am
Opening Remarks
9:35am – 10:25am
State of the Market
Over the past decade Japan has experienced a change in its investor base, as foreign institutional investor's capital has invaded the market. At the same time, the Abe Administration is implementing new tougher stewardship and governance codes, all of which encourage a new breed of international and domestic activist hedge fund investors. This panel will examine what the changing investor base will mean for the country’s interlocking Keiretsu corporations and the future of mergers and dealmaking.

Panelist: John Trammell, Managing Director, Global Strategic Initiatives, Symphony Financial Partners
10:25am – 10:55am
Keynote Interview with Benjamin Colton, Head of Asia Pacific Asset Stewardship, State Street Global Advisors and Jin Song Montesano, Chief Public Affairs Officer, Chief People Officer, LIXIL Group Corporation
Speaker: Benjamin Colton, Head of Asia Pacific Asset Stewardship, State Street Global Advisors

Speaker: Jin Song Montesano, Chief Public Affairs Officer, Chief People Officer, LIXIL Group Corporation
10:55am – 11:15am
Networking Break
11:15am – 12:05pm
Caution for Foreign Investors
The Abe administration has introduced proposals targeting foreign investment in Japanese companies. The new rules, if passed, would certainly impact foreign engaged shareholders who have found Japan a greenfield of opportunity. How will lowering the threshold for shareholder disclosures and tighter scrutiny on foreign ownership impact overseas investment strategies? How do the sprawling structures of Japan’s keiretsus and zaibatsus complicate these potential new regulations and industry classifications? Will non-Japanese investors have a harder time pushing for spinoffs or direct shakeups under the new rules?

Panelist: Ken Hokugo, Director, Hedge Fund Investments; Director, Corporate Governance, Pension Fund Association

Panelist: Alicia Ogawa, Director, Project on Japanese Corporate Governance and Stewardship, Columbia Business School’s Center on Japanese Economy and Business
12:05pm – 1:05pm
Networking Luncheon
1:05pm – 1:55pm
How is Japan Responding to Foreign Influential Investors?
An increasing number of U.S. and European investors, seeking to diversify their investments, are traveling across the globe to target Japanese corporations. These influential investors are seeing to encourage stock buybacks, mergers & acquisitions and real estate sales in an effort to increase shareholder value. These strategies, which were once rare in the consensus-based corporate culture in Japan, are starting to gain traction. How do these engaged shareholders, both foreign and domestic, operate and how are Japanese corporates responding and engaging with them? How can executives and board members find common ground with them, and how can companies effectively interact with institutional investors who all have different goals and priorities?

Panelist: Stefan Charette, Founder and CEO, Athanase Industrial Partners

Panelist: Cas Sydorowitz, Global Head of Activism, Georgeson
1:55pm – 2:25pm
Keynote Interview with Tsuyoshi Maruki, Chief Executive Officer, Strategic Capital Inc.
Interviewer: Alicia Ogawa, Director, Project on Japanese Corporate Governance and Stewardship, Columbia Business School’s Center on Japanese Economy and Business

Speaker: Tsuyoshi Maruki, Chief Executive Officer, Strategic Capital Inc.
2:25pm – 2:45pm
Networking Break
2:45pm – 3:35pm
The New ESG Push
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are increasingly finding their way onto the agendas of the world’s most influential investors. As a result, companies across the globe are under pressure to properly assess and respond to ESG risks and opportunities. Those companies that are most transparent about their ESG policies and act as first movers are gaining favor with index fund managers, while those that do not, have found themselves in the crosshairs of activist investors. What ESG initiatives are being discussed in the boardroom, and how are the world’s largest influential investors capitalizing on this trend?
3:35pm – 4:25pm
Positioning for Constructive Dialogue with Engaged Shareholders
In today’s environment, Asian companies are mindful not only of the threat of influential shareholders, but more broadly across their overall shareholder landscape. How have the Corporate Governance Code (CGC) and Stewardship Code (SSC) introduced by JPX and FSA, changed the corporate governance landscape in Japanese companies so that they are better positioned to have constructive dialogue with all types of influential investors? How should companies act proactively and what types of initiatives, assessments, engagement programs and communication strategies should they be instituting to position themselves properly?

Panelist: Domenic Brancati, Chief Executive Officer, UK/Europe, Georgeson
4:25pm – 4:55pm
Closing Keynote Interview
4:55pm – 5:00pm
Closing Remarks

Sponsors

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The Corporate Governance conference attracts senior executives, board members and investors from a variety of sectors. Attendees will walk away with smart strategies, actionable tactics and connections to the people shaping the future of shareholder engagement.

 

Sponsorship: Jenney Smith E: [email protected] P: 212-224-3026

Register/Press: Nicole Harris E: [email protected] P: 212-224-3040

Speakers: Eric Salvarezza E: [email protected] P: 631-664-1311

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