100 Next-Era Leaders in Asia 2015 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Polaris Capital Group Co., Ltd.

President Yuji Kimura

Message to young people
I want young Japanese people to have a strong desire to create new businesses. To do that, they have to stop relying on a stable life and have a entrepreneurial spirit in their souls. I want to make arrangements to support their ambition.

Since founding Polaris Capital Group, I’ve been helping companies reorganize and rebuild their operations through investment activities such as carve-outs, spin-offs, management buyouts and private equity deals to help them raise their corporate values. Through domestic and foreign fund raising three times, I formed investment funds worth more than \110 billion and presented solutions via investment to more than 20 business start-up cases. Even after making an investment, I’m deeply involved in the management of the companies I’ve invested in, monitoring them carefully. With those activities, I find something value-added in what was built by company owners to materialize further improvement of profitability.

Of those activities, we are now focusing the most on supporting the management succession of small to medium-sized companies. In Japan these days, it’s an important issue to have a successor in place. This is necessary because of cases such as a company president wanting his son to succeed him, but having the son decline, or a successor candidate who is simply incapable of running an organization. This issue is quite serious and to address it, we are presenting various solutions, including having Polaris control some shares from the owners or the owners’ families.

When I was young, my father, who ran a medium-sized business, heavily influenced me. My hometown was called “a town of entrepreneurs,” as Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic Corp. and other entrepreneurs founded companies near where I was born. In such an environment full of venture spirit, and watching my father go off to work every day, I think it was natural for me to want to found my own company. In today’s Japan, people still have a strong reliance on big companies, and the entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t grow. This is causing companies to lose their international competitiveness. That’s why Japanese people have to maintain an entrepreneurial spirit and why Japan needs places for those to freely exercise their talents.

By providing such places, I want to be the axis of Japanese companies; a bridge to raise funds from foreign investors. Foreign investors know a lot about Japanese companies’ good qualities. By taking in foreign funds aggressively, we can make Japanese companies more internationally minded.

To accomplish this, we have to grow further as a leading company in the investment fund business. But first we have to strengthen our corporate structure to support entrepreneurs. We have to find good talent idle in large companies, let them experience being a company president, and make progress in cultivating social circumstances to produce entrepreneurs. I want you all, who would be the foundation of such social circumstances, to be successful in the global business fields.

Company Profile

Polaris Capital Group Co., Ltd.
Buyout fund management