Message from Corporate Executives

TAKAAKI NISHII
Member of the Board,
Representative Executive Officer,
President & Chief Executive Officer

Ajinomoto Co., Inc.

I met Nakagami-san in the spring of 2019 when we were celebrating our 110th anniversary. This was when I was struggling to shift our business management strategy under a sense of crisis that our company could be gone in 10 years. I was awakened to the truth. “It is not about shifting the strategy. I resolved that it is about changing the corporate culture by bringing out the best of hidden assets which is human talent capabilities to generate true value for customers”. I discontinued the 3-year business planning which was a repetition of ramping up short term earnings. The Ajinomoto Group reform started based on paying attention to ROIC and organic growth and we are now at a crucial stage. The requests of a constructivistⓇ are extremely demanding. But their unchanging conviction that is there for sure offers a sense of comfort. I wish the day will come sooner than later when I can make them say “we want to buy Ajinomoto shares”.

ITARU TANIMURA
Representative Director

M3, Inc.

Personally, what is most helpful and stimulating when managing a company is the opportunity to listen to stories of other members of company management that are engaging in commendable and innovative initiatives. However, it is not easy to come across such opportunities or management. Of the presumably millions of members of management that Nakagami-san meets every year, he selectively introduces companies and management I should be meeting at the most suitable timing based on his profound sensitivity and great insights. It is a fruit of the established unofficial network of impressive management and companies that has been built centering around Nakagami-san. (Which is an evidence of how much trust people have in Nakagami-san.) I am looking forward to seeing companies leverage the power of this Misaki Network to learn from each other and emerge one after the other as companies with a competitive edge.

YOSHIHITO YAMADA
President and CEO

OMRON Corporation

“What we aim for is to be a constructivist” – What a great self-declaration! Misaki Capital lead by Nakagami-san is a firm that declares being a long-term engagement fund and materializes boosting corporate value of invested companies in a world where corporate management and the stock market are dominated by short termism. I heard that Misaki Capital’s corporate name carries the aspiration to be a presence that sheds light on the direction for management like a lighthouse located at the hilltop of a headland. Misaki’s ways indeed focus on identifying each company’s underlying competitive edge, understanding this in depth and drawing out further value creating (generating) power through dialogue. We, Omron have gained uncountable hints, suggestions, and ideas through dialogue with Misaki Capital. The times are calling for engagement funds. We expect Misaki to play an even more active role going forward.

TETSUYASU TAJIMA
President

Sakai Moving Service Co., Ltd.

I believe our association with Misaki Capital now date back to over 5 years. We of course had engagements with other investment companies up until then, but I recall it has only been Misaki Capital that had offered detailed advice on the particulars of the business. Specifically, Nakagami-san, Nitta-san, and Nakao-san have provided suitable advice on how to best draw out our company’s potential to the full as well as insights on how sustainable businesses ought to look, based on detailed business analysis that place importance on the power of generating profits in alignment with the eyes of investors.
Further, within the course of regular discussions, we learned the thought processes of shareholders that make the investments and are taking them in as reference points for how we should be as a business as well as for how we develop strategies. We are hopeful of Misaki continuing to offer suitable advice to us as a cherished partner.

YASUYUKI YOSHINAGA
Special Advisor

SUBARU CORPORATION

I met Nakagami san for the first time a few years back at a certain gathering. The idea of long-term investing, “aiming to become Constructivist” was in and of itself an extremely interesting concept. “Are you building a strong wall that does not let others in, based on strong and unique strengths?” was a question I was posing to myself and considering as a base for initiatives to be addressed as the then president of our company. I had encountered many investors in the past through sessions including overseas IR meeting trips. But even when we indiscriminately say investors, their positions are diverse. And meeting great investors as management is extremely important. I feel it is most fortunate and appreciated if you can encounter an investor that is willing to keenly point out the company’s weaknesses and challenges, hopefully with love, based on an understanding of the company’s status quo. I selfishly acknowledge that such thoughts are implied in the phrase “investors at work”. We truly wish for Misaki to be even more successful in their endeavors.

EIJI SATO
President

TAIYO HOLDINGS CO., LTD.

I encountered Nakagami san, Nitta san about 20 years ago as consultants we had employed to address a significant structural reform to the business where I was the then CFO. The structural reform resulted in a huge success owing to their very much to the point proposals. After that, I again re-encountered the two gentlemen a few years ago. This time with them as “Constructivist” and myself as the president of this company. A couple of years ago, our company decided to go into the medical products business. However, the business was not developing favorably. Therefore, we approached, asking “Misaki to work”. They pleasantly accepted and offered strenuous efforts and our medical products business has developed into one of our core businesses. We are very hopeful of Misaki Capital continuing their miraculous work in supporting companies to grow by being there as the guiding hand for the management to consult and rely on when faced with challenges.

KAZUMA SEKIYA
Representative Director and President

DISCO Corporation

My first encounter with Nakagami-san from Misaki Capital was at our regularly held small meeting for institutional investors. My impression of him at that time was: “I didn’t know that such a great looking investor existed!”. However, after that, he continued to close in on the distance between us and our relationship now is where we dine together regularly. The reason why I am explaining all this is because my original stance is to avoid approaching investors to ask them to hold our stock. Therefore, I do not go on IR roadshows. Of course, I will explain what needs to be explained, but whether to invest or not is up to the investors to decide and my understanding is that it is not something one should ask for. And further if you ask investors to invest and hold your stock, then they will start asking for increased dividend or ROA improvements and so on. This means that it will result in directing energy on matters that are different from our company’s basic strategy of above all make ourselves a truly strong company. Therefore, I had been placing importance on maintaining a certain distance from investors. Yet owing to Nakagami-san’s personality, he easily closed in on the distance. Of course, it was not just his personality. The even more compelling reason why we became closer is due to Misaki’s policy of working together alongside with industrial companies to truly help shape them to become quality companies, which was in perfect alignment with our company’s direction. Therefore, I did not need to guard against the shrinking distance between us. Misaki asks many questions regarding the various KPIs but so long as we explain the reasons logically as to why we think that the given levels are right, they will be convinced. As you can imagine, I’m quite convinced that the relationship with Nakagami san will continue going forward.

TETSUO TSUNEISHI
Chairman of the Board

Tokyo Electron Ltd.

I have been engaging with people from the financial capital markets for a very long time now and though this may sound impertinent, there are many aspects of Misaki Capital that I pay homage to such as their investment style, philosophy, and conviction. Further, there is much to learn from their unique and practical method of diagnosis on corporate value and growth and their ideology that captures the essence is to be much respected. I am in agreement of the b, p, and m, advocated under the Misaki Axiom that are indeed important perspectives when diagnosing a company and are also critical points for decision making. It is based off of the Misaki Golden Ratio that places importance on ROIC from ROE>ROIC>ROA>WACC, and they have a rigid yet valid and to the point investment decision making standard such as verification of management capabilities through interviews with top management. Moreover, it is also impressive that they pursue healthy relationships with listed companies through longer horizon investment activities, in-depth engagements with the invested companies, and provision of suitable support/advice. I genuinely wish them further success.

SHIGERU YAMASHITA
Chairman of the Board, CEO

PIGEON CORPORATION

Our company has been enjoying guidance from Nakagami-san, Nitta-san, Uemura-san for about 10 years now. During this time, owing to their support, our market cap which was a mere JPY 30 billion has grown to JPY 500 billion. They are different from a standard investment firm in that they select companies that carry higher growth potential and commit to increasing their corporate value not across the shorter term but over the medium to longer term by working together with the subject company as a constructivist. Therefore, I feel that a higher return can be achieved both for the company as well as Misaki Capital. Based on discussions with Nakagami-san, we have developed dialogue with the capital markets and improving capital efficiency that many Japanese companies are now finally more aware of into PVA unique to our company from 10 somewhat years ago and have as a result gained strong support and acknowledgement from the market. Dialogue on mechanisms for the business to make money and ways for building barriers to entry so that others cannot easily emulate our businesses with the Misaki people where many have consultant background is always fun and stimulating. In this sense, I believe our company’s competitiveness in the product market as well as labor market has been enhanced compared to the past. It was undoubtedly the right choice to have had an investor, Nitta-san become our first outside board director which was a novel practice back then. We intend to continue our experiments for our company to continue evolving by honoring the Misaki axiom as our core principle for management.

HIROSHI AOI
President and Representative Director,
Representative Executive Officer

MARUI GROUP CO., LTD

Misaki Capital is an ideal partner that has just about every element that we hope to find in a shareholder or investor. We empathize with their attitude of creating value together with the company as a constructivist in addition to the longer-term perspective and importance on corporate value that match our philosophy of co-creation of value together with stakeholders. We hope to support Misaki, Japan’s representing engagement investment firm in launching out into the world while we further boost our corporate value through the relationship with them who is like an ideal significant other.

HIROYASU NAITO
President and Executive President

Rinnai Corporation

Ever since I was installed as CEO and President back in 2005, I have been obsessed with seeking efficiency in management and focusing on quality rather than quantity. I encountered Misaki Capital a few years ago. They empathized with my management philosophy and since then, we have been privileged with their engagements with us from a longer-term perspective by sharing relatively similar values. We appreciate Misaki’s opinions and advice shared in the regular meetings that are rich in insight from the investors’ perspectives. Words alone could not express how constantly grateful we are for this. Every time I speak to Nakagami-san, I feel that constructivist and shareholders sitting close as the guiding hand are the most fitting descriptions. I wish them further prosperity.