100 Next-Era CEOs in Asia 2014 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Polaris Capital Group Co., Ltd.

Founder & CEO Yuji Kimura

Osaka, Japan
Message to young people
It is important to have a dream and to aggressively tackle every challenge in pursuit of it. Without fearing failure while you are young, take on challenging tasks. What young Japanese are expected to be in the future are “global human resources.” I expect them to cultivate their English ability, improve it by going abroad and aspire to be internationally active.

Polaris Capital Group Co. celebrated its 10th anniversary in September. As a buyout fund management company, Polaris has managed buyout funds totaling ¥110 billion through three rounds of fund raising both domestically and overseas, and invested in more than 20 projects. For family owners unsure about business succession, as well as spinoffs, we have helped to increase companies’ value by suggesting solutions that better utilize funds. Successfully doing this for 10 years has enabled us to secure a stable position within the industry, something that I am proud of.

After working for the Industrial Bank of Japan, I started my own business with a strong desire to use my experience to support Japan’s industry. As buyout funds had poor recognition in Japan due to their short history here, I focused on making our business understood. We faced some difficulties after the 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, however the experience taught us anew the importance of monitoring. Afterward, we placed strict controls on operation schedules, as well as budgets, with strong focus on the numbers. These are applied in the current Polaris-style value up monitoring.

Polaris offers advantages in three areas, with the first being the ability to identify quality projects. By making the best use of our experience and the investment know-how we have acquired over our 10 years, as well as our network with Mizuho Financial Group, we are investing in well-selected, growing companies.

The second area is our hands-on monitoring. We draw up business plans for the companies we are investing in, together with their top management, leading them to speedy and steady improvement in their business performance, which may differentiate Polaris from our competitors.

Finally, we have excellent staff with expertise in various areas of the business such as corporate finance, M&A, securities underwriting and equity investment.

Leveraging our above-mentioned strengths, I want to aggressively globalize our business. As a first step, in 2012, we opened our Singapore office, which serves as our hub to invest in Asia. While establishing a firm base in Asia, I am also thinking about expanding to America and Europe. I would like to contribute to revitalizing the Japanese economy by attracting capital flow from investors around the world, while maintaining the themes of “returning to the spirits of the founders” and “business model innovation.” Our goal is to be the leading buyout fund management company both at home and abroad.

Company Profile

Polaris Capital Group Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, Japan
Buyout fund management