Veteran stock picker invited to SoftBank board


TOKYO: The nomination of Koei Tecmo chair Keiko Erikawa to SoftBank Group’s board adds a veteran games industry executive known for her stock-picking skill, bringing an authoritative voice after the loss of senior industry figures.

Erikawa, 72, who with CEO husband Yoichi is the executive team behind the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” series, has had a long relationship SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, referring to him as “Son-chan” in a 2016 inteview, using a suffix showing affection.

“Erikawa is not the sort of person who would hesitate to express her views to Son. She speaks plainly, ” said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute.

The board changes announced on Friday come after SoftBank lost two of Japan’s most vocal corporate leaders in recent years, Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing founder Tadashi Yanai and Nidec founder Shigenobu Nagamori.

That follows a shift by the 63-year-old Son from operating companies to pure investing. The change is seen as suiting Erikawa, who in addition to her management chops has built a reputation for savvy investing in tech stocks.

SoftBank invests in listed stocks through its SB Northstar trading unit as well as in late-stage startups via its Vision Fund unit. — Reuters

At March-end Koei had 113 billion yen (US$1.04bil or RM4.2bil) in investment securities on its balance sheet, up from 71 billion yen (RM273bil) a year earlier.

“I am close to Son and sometimes compared to him as a famous pro investor, but he’s a specialist. I often joke I’m just doing it on the side, ” Erikawa said in an interview with Nikkei Veritas earlier this year.

A COVID-19 pandemic induced slump in portfolio company valuations last year saw a period of alignment between SoftBank and investors calling for change, with the group launching a $23 billion share buyback and reforming the board’s structure.

Following the subsequent recovery in valuations, investors fret that Son has less incentive to listen to external voices.

An outgoing board member, Waseda University business professor Yuko Kawamoto, praised Son’s willingness to listen to others but called on the group to “develop an even better form of governance that is genuinely representative of SBG and its unique qualities.” ($1 = 108.9400 yen) (Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Stephen Coates and Louise Heavens)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Koei Tecmo , r Keiko Erikawa , SoftBank Group ,

   

Next In Business News

Moody’s: Sustainable bonds issuance to top US$850bil
Public Mutual declares gross distributions of RM235m for 13 funds
Central banks go big on gold buying
Earnings bounce, bond-yield drop help keep party going for US stocks
Bitcoin rallies past key $40,000
PBOC: China will maintain prudent, flexible monetary policy
Bank Rakyat launches entrepreneur programme
CPO futures seen trading with upward bias next week
As scrutiny mounts, crypto exchange Binance to wind down derivatives in Europe
Oil price climbs, notches fourth monthly gain on growing demand

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers