Examples of Engagement

We believe we should hold constructive dialogue with each investee company based on mutual understanding. It is also necessary for investors to deepen their level of understanding beyond the investor relations efforts of each company.
We make efforts to communicate regularly with as many investee and target companies as possible. Day to day communication with these companies enables us to hold "purposeful dialogue" to improve the prospect of constructive engagement activities.
Major themes of engagement include 1) business strategy to improve corporate value, 2) safety management and compliance, and 3) corporate governance structures for proxy voting.
The following examples are abstracts from dialogues held between Nomura Asset Management Tokyo and Japanese investee companies:

Engagement Feature Articles

Kyocera Corporation - Creating a Medium-Term Management Plan to Accelerate Growth

Kyocera was founded in 1959 by Dr. Kazuo Inamori, the so-called "god of management", when he was 27 years old. The company has maintained stable growth based on its fine ceramic technology and strong financial foundation, and has consistently operated in the black. How will Kyocera pursue its future development? Mr. Hideo Tanimoto, President and Representative Director of Kyocera Corporation, joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to discuss current challenges and the company's medium-term growth vision.

Ajinomoto - Nurturing a Culture Committed to Improving Corporate Value by Promoting "Purpose" and Human Asset Enhancement

Ajinomoto has continued to refine its ASV* management practices which supports the creation of both social and economic value through its business. Continuing to post strong performance since 2020, the company published a new "Medium-Term ASV Initiatives 2030 Roadmap". In the past, there have been times when performance volatility and failed plans drew scrutiny, however, the company's management reforms have earned it praise for its ability to achieve its goals and its awareness of share value. Ajinomoto Co., Inc.'s Mr. Taro Fujie joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to discuss in depth how reforms have changed the company.
*ASV: Ajinomoto Group Creating Shared Value

Mitsubishi Electric - Aiming for Operating Profit Ratio of 10% via ROIC Management and Business Area Ownership

Mitsubishi Electric, a leading industrial electronics manufacturer, is strong in fields such as Factory Automation (FA) systems and electric power infrastructure. Since improper quality control practices came to light, the company has been promoting fundamental management reforms. Mr. Kei Uruma, who assumed the position of President of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation in July 2021, joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to speak about the progress of the reforms that have spanned more than 2 years and the direction the company's business should take in future transformation.

Shibusawa and Company - Realizing a new form of Capitalism through Impact Investing

In addition to being a member of the Japanese government's "Council of New Form of Capitalism Realization", Mr. Ken Shibusawa of Shibusawa and Company has the distinction of being the great-grandson of Eiichi Shibusawa, the "father of Japanese capitalism". Mr. Shibusawa joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to discuss realizing the "new form of capitalism", the expansion of impact investing, disclosure of human capital information, and various other perspectives related to the government plan for Japan to become a leading asset management center by mobilizing individual financial assets from bank deposits to asset management.

Nissin Foods Holdings Co., Ltd. - Increasing Global Brand Value as an "EARTH FOOD CREATOR" via Food Technology

Starting with "Chicken Ramen", the world's first instant noodles, in 1958, the Nissin Foods Group has been pursuing the possibilities of food. By focusing on non-instant noodles and their overseas business, the company has grown into a global company with a market capitalization of more than 1 trillion yen. How is the company working to maximize its human capital to polish its brand and increase its corporate value? Mr. Koki Ando, CEO of Nissin Foods Holdings, joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to discuss the future of Nissin Foods.

DMG MORI - Global Leader in Machine Tools Evolving through M&A

DMG MORI got its start in manufacturing and selling textile machinery in Nara Prefecture's Yamatokoriyama City in 1948. In the 2000s, the company increased its scale through M&A. In 2009, it began partnering with Germany's Gildemeister (DMG) ("AG"), before acquiring a controlling share in the company in 2016. Masahiko Mori, President and Group CEO of the world-class machine tool manufacturer, joined Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to discuss DMG MORI's sustainable growth and its reputation in the stock market.

JPX Group - Pursuing Competitiveness as an Exchange and Growth as a Listed Company

The Japan Exchange Group (JPX Group) is the holding company for the equity market operator Tokyo Stock Exchange, the derivatives market operator Osaka Exchange, and the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. The company is pursuing growth as both the parent company of highly public exchanges and as a listed company itself. How will it achieve this growth? Mr. Hiromi Yamaji, who was appointed Group CEO in April 2023, joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to discuss various management issues.

Dentsu Group - Pursuing Transformation to Go Beyond Advertising

Dentsu has more than 120 years of history in the advertising business. The company, which operates in about 145 countries and regions, is making major changes, including redefining its business domain. On July 31, 2023, Mr. Hiroshi Igarashi, president and CEO of Dentsu Group, joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to discuss Dentsu Group's growth strategy to evolve from a traditional advertising company into a convergence of marketing, technology and consulting.

Santen Pharmaceutical - Regaining Trust and Pursuing New Growth as a company specialized in ophthalmology

As a company specialized in ophthalmology, Santen Pharmaceutical has set out toward new growth. Due to several years of decreased profitability, the company's share price has significantly decline since 2020. Mr. Takeshi Ito, who was appointed as top executive of Santen Pharmaceutical in September 2022 with the mission of structural reform, joined Nomura Asset Management's Mr. Hiroyasu Koike and Ms. Aya Torii, a medical sector analyst, to discuss the company's growth ambitions and reform efforts.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group - Create New Value through "Fulfilled Growth"

Paradigm shifts, such as digitalization and changing behaviors, are driving changes in the financial industry. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (collectively the "SMBC Group") aims to achieve "Growth with Quality" in response to these environmental changes. What kind of value can be expected in the future from this major financial group, which operates a wide range of businesses including banking, securities, credit cards, consumer finance and leasing? Mr. Jun Ohta, Group CEO, joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to discuss this topic.

Mizuho Financial Group - "Proactively innovate together with our clients for a prosperous and sustainable future." Advancing Japanese Corporate Competitiveness with Purpose

Under Mr. Masahiro Kihara, who assumed the position of Group CEO in February 2022, Mizuho Financial Group has been promoting transformation of its corporate culture. The preceding 5-Year Business Plan, which started in FY2019, was dissolved one year ahead of schedule, and a new medium-term business plan (FY2023 to 2025) was launched. Mr. Kihara joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to discuss the future of the bank and its business focus areas.

ANA Holdings - Turning International Passenger Business and Cargo Business into a Growth Driver via Network Enhancement

ANA Holdings achieved profitability for the first time in three fiscal years. As the company continues to build its financial base, it is steadily working on growth strategies, such as optimizing its international passenger business brands and growing its cargo business. Mr. Koji Shibata of ANA Holdings Corporation and Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management discussed their future business prospects, including risk management, on May 29th.

Ryohei Yanagi, Phd, Visiting Professor with Waseda University Graduate School - Quantifying the Value of Non-financial Capital should Increase the PBR of Japanese Corporations over 2x

As represented by ESG, corporations and investors are increasingly pursuing initiatives to increase corporate value through added focus on non-financial capital, such as human capital, intellectual property, and social contributions. However, the challenge of quantitatively representing non-financial capital remains. Dr. Ryohei Yanagi, Visiting Professor with Waseda University Graduate School and creator of the "Yanagi Model" of linking ESG and corporate value, joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike, President and CEO of Nomura Asset Management, to discuss what is needed to realize the potential value of Japanese companies.

Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings - Shifting to a Solutions-based Business built on Trust and IT

With the department store business facing a difficult consumption environment due to factors such as an aging population and diversified consumption, how does Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings plan to achieve growth? Isetan Shinjuku main store is showing signs of record profits after the pandemic. Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings' Mr. Toshiyuki Hosoya joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to discuss recent reforms and related prospects.

Asahi Group Holdings - Transitioning from a Mature Company to a Global Growing Company through a Bold Business Portfolio Restructuring

After transitioning to a holding company in 2011, Asahi Group Holdings has been actively working to restructure its business portfolio and transform itself from a mature company into a growing company. Mr. Atsushi Katsuki of Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. sat down with Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to discuss the background of this strategic decision, the success factors of large-scale acquisition, and the group's future medium-term strategy.

Misaki Capital - Dramatically Increasing Corporate Value through Shareholder Action to Improve Management

Under the banner of "Japan Constructivism®," Misaki Capital aims to create a new shareholder model in Japan and improve the value of the companies it invests in as an engagement fund. The company is an independent investment advisory firm established in 2013 by Mr. Yasunori Nakagami, who has supported the growth of his client corporations as a management consultant for approx. 20 years. Mr. Nakagami joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to discuss engagement practices and the ideal form of corporate management.

Daiwa House - Aiming to become Absolute Industry Leader: Promoting a Refreshed Portfolio

Daiwa House Group boasts sales of 4,439.5 billion yen (fiscal year ended March 2022). Comprising 480 companies as of the end of March 2022, the group has increased its size by approx. six times since 2010. The company aims to create value by expanding its business beyond the framework of a housing manufacturer to include community development and lifestyle businesses. Mr. Keiichi Yoshii of Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd. and Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management Co., Ltd. discussed the prospects for further growth, the challenges Daiwa House faces, and the triggers for stock price improvement.

KOA - Global Components Manufacturer situated in Nagano Prefecture's Ina Valley

Headquartered in the town of Minowa in southern Nagano Prefecture and surrounded by the Central and Southern Japanese Alps, KOA is one of the world's leading manufacturers of resistors essential for electrical and electronic circuits. The company is particularly adept at manufacturing resistors for automobiles, which require strict quality standards, and is expected enjoy further growth with the spread of electric vehicles (EVs). Against the backdrop of the snow-covered Ina Valley, Mr. Koichi Mukaiyama and Mr. Tadao Hanagata of KOA Corporation joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management to discuss the social values that the company has cherished since its establishment in 1940.

Furukawa Electric - Changing Corporate Culture through Thorough ROIC Management

The Furukawa Electric Group, which has supported the development of social infrastructure in the areas such as optical fiber and electrical wiring, is promoting corporate reforms with an awareness of future survival. The company has identified growth businesses based on backcasting from 2030 and is restructuring its management to be more robust and emphasize ROIC (return on invested capital). Mr. Keiichi Kobayashi of Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. (Furukawa Electric) and Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management discussed Furukawa Electric's efforts to realize Vision 2030.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, Inc. - Trust-related Business Continues to Grow as well as Create New Markets

While Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited. (SuMi TRUST Bank) represents the core of the group, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, Inc. (SuMi TRUST Holdings) is an institutional investor with a presence encompassing multiple asset management companies. What kind of engagement is necessary for the sound development of the equity market moving forward? Mr. Toru Takakura, Director, President of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holding, and Mr. Hiroyasu Koike, President and CEO of Nomura Asset Management (Nomura AM), discussed topics ranging from climate change to balancing stewardship and corporate governance of listed companies.

Panasonic - Further Implement Autonomous Responsible Management, Achieve Growth with Strategy and Operational Capabilities

Adopting a new structure in April 2022, the Panasonic Group is now organized as seven operating companies under the umbrella of Panasonic Holdings. Nomura Asset Management CEO Mr. Hiroyasu Koike joined Panasonic Holdings' Mr. Yuki Kusumi to discuss the company's intentions behind its organizational structure called "operating company system", instead of "holdings company system", and its path toward corporate growth over the next 160 years.

Dai-ichi Life - Pursuing Customer Well-Being Beyond Life Insurance

Dai-ichi Life Holdings recently celebrated its 120 year anniversary. In 2010, it became the first major life insurance company to be incorporated and listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Since then, Dai-ichi have been working to create new value through its business while maintaining a dialogue with investors. How will they achieve growth from the saturated domestic life insurance market? Mr. Seiji Inagaki, President and Representative Director (CEO) of Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc., joined Mr. Hiroyasu Koike, President and CEO of Nomura Asset Management Co., Ltd. to discuss Dai-ichi's initiatives toward reaching a new stage in its business.

Sony Group - Human Resources and Diversity as Drivers of Corporate Value Creation

Following the formation of Sony Group Corporation in April 2021, the group's founding business of electronics inherited the Sony Corporation name and the group architecture shifted to a flat framework encompassing six businesses including game, music, pictures, image sensors, and financial services, under the umbrella of the dedicated group management company Sony Group. Nomura Asset Management CEO Mr. Hiroyasu Koike joined Sony Group's Mr. Hiroki Totoki to discuss how the group will communicate its inherent corporate value to investors including the assessment of intangible assets.

Marubeni - Aspiring to Create New Value atop a Solid Management Foundation

While investment is indispensable for corporate growth, it is also important to maintain a balance in terms of financial foundation and shareholder returns. On the tail of announcing the company's 2022-2024 mid-term management strategy "GC2024" in February 2022, Mr. Masumi Kakinoki, President and CEO of Marubeni Corporation, sat down with Mr. Hiroyasu Koike, President and CEO of Nomura Asset Management Co., Ltd. to discuss investment, growth, and other topics.

BNPP AM - Managing Sustainability: Discussing the Future of ESG and the AM Industry

Mr. Hiroyasu Koike, President and CEO of Nomura Asset Management (NAM) and Mr. Sandro Pierri, CEO of BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) met in Paris to share their views and experience on important industry topics. During their conversation, they discussed the importance of ESG and the sustainability agenda, technology and the workplace, growth of the private asset space and the evolution of culture in asset management.

MS&AD - Contributing to the formation of a resilient society through insurance group's synergies

The MS&AD Insurance Group was formed in 2010 as a result of the merger of the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, Aioi Insurance, and Nissay Dowa General Insurance. As one of the world-leading insurance and financial groups, it offers a wide range of products and services for both individuals and businesses. As the scale of disasters increases and risks diversify, how is sustainable growth achievable? Mr. Noriyuki Hara of MS&AD and Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management sat down to discuss the company's future prospects.

Mitsui & Co.'s Model for Creating Opportunities alongside Decarbonization by Building Improved Quality Deals

With "Transform and Grow" as the theme of its Medium-Term Management Plan through 2023, Mitsui is expanding its earnings with the aim of sustainably increasing shareholder value. How is the company confronting the rapidly changing business environment and envisioning new growth? Mr. Kenichi Hori of Mitsui, and Mr. Hiroyasu Koike of Nomura Asset Management sat down to discuss the company's business growth and ESG initiatives.

The Daikin Group's Sustainable Management - Providing New Value for the Environment and Air

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a common global issue. How can companies and investors work together to solve this problem? Mr. Katsuyuki Sawai, Senior Executive Officer of Daikin Industries, Ltd. (Daikin), a leading innovator and provider of advanced, high-quality air conditioning solutions, and Mr. Hiroyasu Koike, the CEO of Nomura Asset Management Co., Ltd. discussed initiatives to achieve carbon neutrality and corporate evaluation methods.

Dialogue Examples Related to Business Strategy to Improve Corporate Value

  • During a visit from the CEO of an electrical appliance manufacturer, we discussed their future management strategy over the medium-term management plan, and which business operations for them to focus on.
  • During a visit from the CEO of a wholesale company, we discussed its adherence to the Corporate Governance Code, such things as increasing its profit level in order to achieve an ROE of 8-10% and increasing its financial leverage to a more appropriate level.

Dialogue Examples Related to Safety Management and Compliance

  • We visited an automobile company and an auto component manufacturer to confirm the circumstances of a scandal in which each was involved and discussed how to deal with the situation in the future.
  • During a visit from the IR of a Chemical company that was reported to be involved in a scandal, we had discussed the impact of the scandal upon its reputation, and discussed they should continue work to raise its corporate value, by also strengthening its non-financial aspects, such as corporate governance and investor relations, including increasing improvement in its transparency.

Dialogue Examples Related to Corporate Governance

  • During a visit from a telecommunications company, we discussed the reasons why the rate of board meeting attendance by the outside director was low, and how to better manage this in the future.
  • We discussed with a chemical company about measures to improve the company's medium-to long-term performance by making it the focal topic of discussion at board meetings, and to enhance the cultivation of personnel in charge of management.

Dialogue Examples Related to Efforts Directed at ESG Issues

  • We advised investor relations of a financial institution to focus on not only CSR activities but also focus on improving its corporate structure such as enhancement of its corporate value, and to achieve sustainable growth, and stakeholder management. We also proposed some ESG issues that should be addressed in a way linked to such efforts.
  • Managers in charge of investor relations at a transportation company consulted with us and we proposed to them that, since their ROE results were lower than acceptable by the high quality of the services provided by the company, the company should try to increase its profitability by such means as improving its efficiency and raising its sales prices, and that an explanation should be provided from the standpoint of how CSR-related efforts are linked to the increasing of corporate value.