The Board Director Training Institute of Japan (BDTI) is pleased to welcome Eiji Hirano to its board of directors, effective as of July 1st, 2021.
Until April of this year, Mr. Hirano served as the first Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan (GPIF), which is the world’s largest national pension fund with approximately USD1.62 Trln (178 Trln Yen) under management. During his time as Chair, Mr. Hirano stressed the importance of corporate governance as one of the essential pillars of ESG at both portfolio companies and the GPIF itself. He led the GPIF’s board in overseeing management of its massive portfolio during a time of accelerating change, a global pandemic, and growing world-wide recognition of the need for greater corporate sustainability.
Mr. Hirano’s career has spanned economics, international financial markets, investment, public policy and corporate governance, and he has a Master’s degree in Economics from Harvard University. In addition to his recent experience at the GPIF, Mr. Hirano brings to BDTI a wealth of perspectives gained from his distinguished career at the Bank of Japan, where he stepped down as an Assistant Governor at 2006, and other positions in the private sector. Currently, he serves as the non-executive Vice-Chair of MetLife Japan, and as an outside director at NTT Data and Riken. He is also an auditor at the Keizai Doyukai and a member of Japan UNESCO‘s domestic committee.
Commenting on Mr. Hirano’ appointment, BDTI Representative Director Nicholas Benes said, “we are honored and excited that Mr. Hirano has joined our mission to improve the effectiveness of boards by providing practical, high-standard directorship training programs.” Echoing his sentiment, fellow Representative Director Kenichi Osugi (Professor of Law at Chuo University) said, “Mr. Hirano’s broad range of experience will help us better prepare board members for what faces them in the future.”
Mr. Hirano said, “the success of sustainable investment depends largely on the quality of boards and corporate governance, and the best way to meaningfully improve those things is through new knowledge, sharing of “best practices”, and discussion, — all the things the director training entails. Therefore, director and governance training are essential for society. We need to tirelessly convey this reality to those asset managers that are adopting ESG and impact investing techniques, but may be uncertain as to how they can make a more direct contribution to overall sustainability. I am hoping to encourage more domestic institutions to support BDTI’s activities.”
The Board Director Training Institute of Japan (BDTI), a non-profit Japanese “public interest” organization certified by the government, was established in 2009 to facilitate the sustainable growth of the Japanese economy, by improving corporate governance and accelerating the spread of effective management methods. BDTI offers two levels of intensive “director training” programs that are open to the public (for both executives as well as outside directors), “tailor-made” programs for enhancing directorship skills at companies, compliance training, seminars and webinars on timely topics, and four modules of e-Learning to fortify basic knowledge about key laws and governance practices. BDTI also provides bilingual access to detailed disclosure and voting data by all listed Japanese companies, via its convenient GoToData platform. Soon, its entire database will be accessible via API or other means.
BDTI’s activities are supported by generous donations from individuals and institutions who believe that sound corporate governance is essential.