M&G hires to expand Japan stewardship activities

Dr Ryohei Yanagi has looked at the relationship between ESG and corporate value

M&G has hired a deputy president to oversee the firm’s stewardship activities in Japanese equities.

Dr Ryohei Yanagi joins the firm after a period of consultancy with M&G Investments Japan, and will advise fund manager and co-head of Asia Pacific equity investment Carl Vine in this non-executive role.

He has experience working in ESG and stewardship, having developed the Yanagi Model, which is a formula that aims to show the relationship between ESG factors and corporate value.

His appointment comes as Japan seeks to develop its corporate governance standards, which has included changes such as the appointment of independent directors.

“With Japan’s corporate governance reform having passed a critical tipping point, there has never been a more opportune time to seek to create value through exemplary stewardship,” Yanagi said.

Vine added: “Significant opportunity exists to work closely with companies, helping them to become better versions of themselves.

“This ‘value-added shareholdership’ creates value not only to the companies in which we invest, but also to our investors.”

Loretta Ng, head of M&G Asia Pacific, added: “We are pleased to be able to add such talent as Dr Yanagi to our Japan team where we will be able to extend our legacy as good stewards to the capital we manage. We believe we can contribute to the positive journey that corporate Japan is on by sharing our knowledge and expertise with our investee companies.”