Not Maruki. Where persuasion doesn’t work, he turns to techniques that include banding with other investors to oust management and filing lawsuits to overhaul corporate practices in order to boost returns for his 9.7 billion yen ($90 million) fund.
“If one always adopts a friendly engagement style, such as having gentle and warm meetings, would the management really change?” said Maruki, 56, who founded Tokyo-based Strategic Capital Inc. in 2012. “After the meeting, it would probably end at a comment like, ‘They were nice.’”
More than a year after Shinzo Abe introduced a corporate governance code aimed at making Japanese companies more attractive to investors, there’s been a surge in the number of so-called “engagement funds” that seek friendly interactions with companies to increase share prices. Yet bringing about meaningful change has been a struggle as Japan Inc. has pushed back. In a government pension fund survey published last month, some companies that are targets of activist actions said investors waste their time with pointless questions and meetings, and that shareholders are too focused on short-term benefits…….”
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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.