Discussion Paper by Miyajima & Ogawa: ”Convergence or Emerging Diversity? Understanding the impact of foreign investors on corporate governance in Japan”

”Abstract: The increasing share of foreign institutional investors has been a global phenomenon for the past few decades. Corporate ownership in Japan shifted from an insider‐dominated to outsider‐dominated structure after the banking crisis of 1997. On the role of increasing foreign ownership and its consequences, there are two competing views. The first view, or convergence view, is that foreign investors have high monitoring capability, and encourage improvements in the governance arrangements of firms, resulting in higher performance. Conversely, the skeptical view insists that they have a strong bias in their investment strategies and are less committed to a firm. Even though a correlation between foreign ownership and corporate polices and high performance could be observed, it could be superficial. Higher stock returns can be induced by their order demand, while performance can simply reflect foreign investors’ preference for high quality firms. To answer which view is more persuasive, this paper analyzes the impact of dramatic changes in the ownership structure on corporate governance, corporate policies, and firm value, with a focus on the role of foreign investors, particularly in Japan…………..”

Bloomberg: ”This Japanese Activist Investor Doesn’t Have Time for Your Nice Meetings”

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.’”

Business Financial Post ”Japan discovers ‘good’ governance, U.S. style”

”Not so long ago, back when they were eating the lunch of American corporations, Japan’s Toyotas, Hitachis, Sonys, Canons and Hondas were governed in the worst possible way — at least according to the canons of American governance. Their boards were made up almost exclusively of corporate insiders, with no independent directors and no diversity. […]

THE ISSUE – ”Corporate Governance an important issue”

Should more attention be paid to corporate governance issues? ”Over the past few years, institutional investors have held boards increasingly accountable for company performance and have demanded greater transparency and engagement with directors. Investors’ interest in more disclosure and interaction arises from their desire for improved performance, both on the part of boards and in […]

Martin Lipton: ”Succeeding in the New Paradigm for Corporate Governance”

Recognizing that the incentive for long-term investment is broken, leading institutional investors are developing a paradigm that prioritizes sustainable value over short-termism, integrates long-term corporate strategy with substantive corporate governance and requires transparency as to director involvement. We believe that the new paradigm can reduce or even eliminate the outsourcing of corporate governance and portfolio […]

Yumiko Miwa et al ”Professional Asset Managers and the Evolution of Corporate Governance in France and Japan: Lessons from a Questionnaire Survey”

”Abstract – A corporate governance system consists of a set of mechanisms which restrict managerial discretion. The constraints on managerial discretion in the Anglo-Saxon environment, considered as a benchmark, are usually described as being primarily driven by shareholder interests, whereas the French and Japanese systems are traditionally thought of as more stakeholder oriented. However, the increasing share of international ownership has had a significant impact on corporate governance in both countries over the last two decade

”Shareholder Activism & Engagement 2016”

”At the end of another record-breaking year for shareholder activism activity, it is appropriate that we ring in the publication of this, the inaugural edition of Shareholder Activism & Engagement, part of the Getting the Deal Through series. We are pleased to serve as editors of this volume because we believe that shareholder activism is and will remain in sharp focus in financial markets, in the C-suite and in the boardroom, and that shareholder engagement is, and will continue to be, a leading and increasingly sophisticated priority. The international approach of the Getting the Deal Through series is especially apt for this topic, which we expect to become increasingly global over time, with ‘imports’ and ‘exports’ of shareholder activism and engagement between jurisdictions. Although the United States remains its dominant market, such activism and a heightened sensitivity to shareholder engagement is truly a global phenomenon.

”Olympus settles with whistleblower after 8-year battle”

Olympus settles with whistleblower after 8-year battle
In this 2013 file photo, Masaharu Hamada, an employee of Japanese medical- device maker Olympus Corp, listens to his lawyer during an interview in Tokyo.AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama

”A corporate whistleblower’s eight-year courtroom battle against Japanese medical device maker Olympus Corp ended Thursday with a financial settlement and a promise from the company to stop harassing him.