Activist Investors Are Really Polite In Japan

Japan has a growing league of activist investors — and they’re friendly and polite, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Kosaku Narioka.

The shareholders have even rebranded themselves to seem less brash, adopting the term “engagement” funds, the report said.

Activist investing has historically been rare in Japan, a country where the corporate culture “has favoured the status quo and shunned big disruptions like split-ups or spinoffs,” Narioka wrote.

But as the Abe administration pushes for corporate growth, and encourages companies to be more receptive to shareholders, some have begun to welcome these funds.

“They probably understand our business better than any other institutional investors,” said a pharmaceutical CEO currently working with an active investor.

The funds are striving to work together with companies too.

“Let’s say shareholder rights is a sword. We don’t use that last resort. We don’t even touch it,” said a Tokyo-based asset manager.

Good to see everyone’s getting along.

Read the full Wall Street Journal story here >>

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