‘Son-chan’ invitations veteran inventory picker to SoftBank board By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: SoftBank Corp. placard is ready throughout a ceremony to mark the corporate’s debut on the Tokyo Inventory Trade in Tokyo, Japan December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photograph

By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) – The nomination of Koei Tecmo chair Keiko Erikawa to SoftBank Group’s board provides a veteran video games business government recognized for her stock-picking ability, bringing an authoritative voice after the lack of senior business figures.

Erikawa, 72, who with CEO husband Yoichi is the chief workforce behind the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” sequence, has had a protracted relationship SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, referring to him as “Son-chan” in a 2016 inteview, utilizing a suffix exhibiting affection.

“Erikawa will not be the form of one who would hesitate to precise her views to Son. She speaks plainly,” stated Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Analysis Institute.

The board modifications https://www.reuters.com/article/us-softbank-group-corporate-governance/softbank-says-son-lieutenant-fisher-arm-ceo-to-leave-board-idUSKCN2D20JE introduced on Friday come after SoftBank misplaced two of Japan’s most vocal company leaders in recent times, Uniqlo dad or mum Quick Retailing founder Tadashi Yanai and Nidec founder Shigenobu Nagamori.

That follows a shift by the 63-year-old Son from working firms to pure investing. The change is seen as suiting Erikawa, who along with her administration chops has constructed a status for savvy investing in tech shares.

At March-end Koei had 113 billion yen ($1.04 billion) in funding securities on its stability sheet, up from 71 billion yen a yr earlier.

“I’m near Son and generally in comparison with him as a well-known professional investor, however he is a specialist. I typically joke I am simply doing it on the aspect,” Erikawa stated in an interview with Veritas earlier this yr.

A COVID-19 pandemic induced stoop in portfolio firm valuations final yr noticed a interval of alignment between SoftBank and traders calling for change, with the group launching a $23 billion share buyback and reforming the board’s construction.

Following the next restoration in valuations, traders fret that Son has much less incentive to hearken to exterior voices.

An outgoing board member, Waseda College enterprise professor Yuko Kawamoto, praised Son’s willingness to hearken to others however known as on the group to “develop a good higher type of governance that’s genuinely consultant of SBG and its distinctive qualities.”

($1 = 108.9400 yen)

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