Polaris Capital Group Co.

CEO & President Yuji Kimura

Message to young people
Please have your own dream. It is important to work hard to make that dream come true. Without ambition, there is no success. In addition, if you are afraid of failure, there will be no big success. There are more things to learn from failure than from success. Super-successful people often experienced many failures when they were young.

I was born in a town in Osaka where the spirit of entrepreneurship dwells. It is the place where Daiei and Panasonic were founded. At an early age, I learned the philosophy of being a top manager from my father, who ran a mid-size company. I entered the University of Tokyo as a science major, but since I wanted to work on the global stage in the future, I changed my major to international relations.

In 1985, I joined the international sales division of the Industrial Bank of Japan (IBJ). After earning an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania in 1991, I took part in the reform of the securities-related system and participated in a project to launch IBJ Securities. Then I engaged in the underwriting of corporate bonds and shares among other tasks. At Mizuho Securities, (formerly IBJ Securities), I launched a private equity service. For three years, I designed a plan to establish a buyout fund. With the cooperation of Mizuho Securities and DIAM, we launched Polaris Principal Finance in 2004.

At that time I was only a bit over 40 years old and people were thinking, “How can such a young man start a fund alone?” I was helped greatly by Shuichi Takahashi, the co-founder and then CEO of Kansai Urban Banking Corp. (formally known as the Kansai Sawayaka Bank Ltd.), who was 17 years older than me and had professional experience in business management. We worked together with mutual respect and I learned a lot from him.

When I started the business, there was no business model for a buyout firm in Japan. I studied U.S. models but it was also difficult to apply it to the situation in Japan, so I felt the necessity to establish a new model from scratch by myself.

Polaris’s strong point is the support we provide after investment. We monitor and support companies to develop better results so that we can have a win-win relationship.

In the short term, within the next three years, I would like to make Polaris the best buyout fund management company in Japan, and then the most well-reputed in the world. We are planning to expand our business overseas in 2012, especially targeting investors in Asia, including China and India. By gathering funds from overseas investors, I want to revitalize Japan. I want Japanese technology, manufacturing and brands to be acclaimed around the world. Conveying the value of Japanese products to the world is the role of the fund.

For the next decade, I would like to groom my successor to pass along the management torch while establishing the foundation of Polaris. In the long term, the goal is to use my experience as the company’s manager for politics and education.

Company Profile

Polaris Capital Group Co.
Buyout fund management