The Diplomat: “Reform Boost For Tokyo Stocks” (w/quote from BDTI’s Representative Director)

Excerpt: … Meno’s comments echo those of Nicholas Benes, head of the Tokyo-based Board Director Training Institute of Japan (BDTI), who has called for increased director training in corporate governance to ensure a “virtuous cycle” that accelerates reform.

“Even two [independent directors] will allow you to have a committee of those two plus an outside statutory auditor, and that’s a major sea change by itself in Japan,” he told The Diplomat in a September 2014 interview.

Benes also pointed to the potential for increased merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in Japan following its introduction of a stewardship code for investors and the new corporate governance code.

“Japan’s proportion of M&A compared to GDP is about one-fourth or one-fifth the United States or Britain, it’s very low in an economy that needs to be restructured and refocused. One of the reasons it’s so low is that corporate governance in many companies is unable to make the decision to sell a division or subsidiary that’s non-core as soon as it should, so it goes bankrupt or they sell it – if at all – when it’s too late. Those kinds of situations should be prevented if you have more outsiders on the board,” he said.

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The Board Director Training Institute (BDTI) is a "public interest" nonprofit in Japan dedicated to training about directorship, corporate governance, and related management techniques. It is certified by the Japanese government to conduct these activities as a regulated nonprofit. Read a summary about BDTI here, and see a menu of its services for both corporations and investors here.

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