Speaking at another Economist Conference

I recently spoke at the Economist CFO Roundtable and they have just asked me back to speak at next months event themed “The Bellwether Series: Charting the future of finance in Asia-Pacific”.

Japan’s financial sector and its financial system are no longer the sick men of global finance. Asset rich, with players varying from its mega-banks to regional and local institutions, from private sector to public sector, from domestic to foreign, the finance system is a vital part of Japan’s economy and must evolve accordingly. It must cope with financing vast government debt; it must provide funds to the private sector, and has a role to play in encouraging growth, dynamism and innovation. How can all these objectives be met simultaneously?

Anyway, I speak on Wednesday, May 19th on “Japan’s capital markets: the whole story”.  My sessions will address questions such as:

  • What is the capital raising model currently, and what is the impact of low economic growth?
  • Banks versus capital markets: what is the optimal balance for providing capital?
  • Can Japan’s capital markets ever adequately service start-ups and non-investment grade credits?
  • How can private equity be constructively encouraged?
  • Which entities can best finance SMEs? Can this ever be market-driven, or will there always be a role for government entities?

Since this crowdsourcing thing (1, 2) is working pretty well and I get a lot of really good feedback, advice and input on what I should emphasize during these presentations, please feel free to comment – I look forward to them.

Update:  The event will be held at the the Mandarin Oriental Hotel – Grand Ballroom 3F.

William Saito
Special Advisor at Cabinet Office (Govt. of Japan)
Named by Nikkei as one of the “100 Most Influential People for Japan,” Saito began software programming at an early age and started his own company in high school. By the time he was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today), he was recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on encryption, biometric authentication and cyber security.

After selling his business to Microsoft, he moved to Tokyo in 2005 and founded InTecur, a venture capital firm and consultancy that identifies innovative technologies, develops global talent and helps entrepreneurs become successful. In 2013, Saito was appointed a Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.

Similarly, in 2012 he served as a council member on national strategy for the Cabinet-level National Policy Unit, and prior to that, was named as the Chief Technology Officer for the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC). He is a Foundation Board Member at the World Economic Forum (WEF), and has been named by the WEF as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member.

Saito also advises several national governments around the globe. In Japan, he has also served as an advisor to METI, MIC, MEXT, MLIT, AIST, IPA and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), among others.

He teaches at multiple universities, serves on several corporate boards, appears as a commentator on national TV and is the author of numerous publications in addition to writing a weekly column for a prominent Japanese business newspaper. His best-selling management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP in 2012, his follow-on book, Is Your Thinking up to Global Standards?, was published by Daiwa Shobo in late 2013 and his autobiography, An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur, was published in 2011 by John Wiley & Sons.

Posted by whsaito

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