Placement Archive

From Silicon Valley to Tokyo – Finding an IPO-experienced CFO for a Japanese company

The Client

A Japanese wellness and lifestyle company was planning to go public. They needed a CFO who had already experienced an IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and would be able guide the company through the process.

The Challenge

While being a Japanese company the company was lead by a foreign entrepreneur. The client was looking for an individual with a strong track record as CFO with successful IPO process management, great English skills and an international mindset – a combination of experience and traits extremely rare in the Japan market.

Our Solution

With a dedicated research team of 4 people we began systematically mapping the market for potential candidates. By focusing on companies who had gone public in Japan within the last 5 years, we worked to identify the individuals responsible for leading the IPO on the financial side. We collected more than 250 profiles but almost all of them lacked the international component.

The real-time market feedback we collected helped the client understand the limitations of the talent pool and the need to lower their expectations in terms of the quantity of qualified candidates they could realistically expect to see.

r the course of 3 weeks we were able to present 6 candidates of whom 4 were selected for shortlist. The finalist had a unique background the client considered especially outstanding: a Japanese national who had spent all of her career in Silicon Valley where she had been assisting a Japanese company go to IPO in Japan. This background made her a perfect match for our client’s needs.

To maximize our ability to close successfully we focused on maximizing communication and transparency through each stage of the process. Despite some major practical hurdles relating to relocation and timing, both parties were enthusiastic about the match and successfully addressed all issues to complete the hire.

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