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Investor Richard Folsom Assesses Current Japanese Market, Shares Outlook for Growth

Private Equity’s Next Opportunity: Seeing Japan through the Eyes of Richard Folsom

Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 1:00 pm, at Japan Society


New York, NY - Recent changes in both Japan and the private equity industry may be leading to a sea change in private equity’s relation to the Japanese economy. Foreign investment in Japanese companies has steadily increased over the last 20 years, going from 6.3 percent of shareholder composition in 1992 to 28 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, the impact of Abenomics and its market reforms provides an unprecedented window of opportunity for private equity firms to enter the market. Additionally, the notion of outside investment encouraging better corporate governance has become increasingly popular in corporate and academic circles.

In Private Equity’s Next Opportunity: Seeing Japan through the Eyes of Richard Folsom, Richard Folsom, Representative Partner of Advantage Partners, LLP and a private equity investor with years of experience in Japan, assesses the current Japanese market and provides his outlook on growth potential for private equity firms. Moderated by Reuters' global investment correspondent Daniel Bases, the talk takes place Wednesday, May 14, at Japan Society.

Agenda: Noon, registration and reception; 12:30, luncheon; 1:00-2:15 pm, lecture and Q&A.

Admission: $65 lunch and lecture/$15 lecture only. Japan Society Corporate Members are entitled to a designated number of FREE admissions based on their company's membership level. Discounted rates are available for additional Japan Society Corporate Members, certain individual members, government officials and academics. To register or for more information, please email register@japansociety.org, visit www.japansociety.org/corporateevents, or call 212-715-1208.

Richard Folsom founded Advantage Partners, LLP in Tokyo in 1992 with Taisuke Sasanuma. Between 1992 and 1997, they started and managed two new businesses, one a Value-Added Tax (VAT) reclaim service for corporations, formed with partners in New York and London with an operations center in Ireland and marketing hubs in New York and Tokyo, and the other an insurance brokerage and risk management business formed to sell new insurance products in the Japanese market as deregulation changed the dynamics of the industry. This company, Advantage Risk Management went public in Japan in December 2006. In 1997, Richard and Taisuke established the first buyout fund in Japan, and Richard has since focused his time on the development of this private equity investment practice. They raised a second fund in 2000, a third in 2003, a fourth fund in 2007 and another fund in 2013. Through the funds, Advantage has made 41 acquisitions and buyouts, of which they have successfully exited 23 and partially exited 2. Recent investments include the public-to-private acquisition of Katitas (formerly known as Yasuragi; real estate / existing-home renovation business), and acquisition of ESG Holdings (facility management services), Xacti (formerly known as Sanyo DI Solutions; digital camera and digital movie camera OEM), and Hokuo Services (assisted living facilities). Before founding Advantage Partners, Richard’s previous experience was in management consulting with Bain & Company, primarily in their Tokyo office, where he accumulated eight years of experience in developing and implementing strategies for both foreign and domestic corporations in the Japanese market. Overall, Richard has spent 28 years in Japan. He received his undergraduate degree in Japanese and Economics from Brigham Young University, and received an MBA degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Daniel Bases is a veteran print and broadcast correspondent who has covered financial, foreign policy and general news for 20 years. He has worked for Reuters for the past 15 years on assignments in Latin America, Asia, Europe, the United States and the United Nations. He was a finalist for the New York Asia Society’s Osborne Elliott Prize for a series of stories written with colleagues on the accounting abuses of Chinese companies with U.S. stock market listings. He conducts journalism training courses covering business, economics and finance on behalf of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Prior to joining Reuters he was a producer at CNN Business News in New York. He is a former President of the New York Financial Writers' Association and was named a Knight-Bagehot Fellow for Business and Economic Journalism in 1999.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan. For further information call 212-832-1155 or visit www.japansociety.org.

This event is presented with support from Citi, Deloitte, United Airlines, Mizuho Financial Group, Toyota Motor North America, and WL Ross & Co. LLC.

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Media Contacts:
Shannon Jowett, 212-715-1205, sjowett@japansociety.org
Kuniko Shiobara, 212-715-1249, kshiobara@japansociety.org

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