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Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday Feature Book Review: Zero to One by Peter Thiel (Billionaire) ピーター・ティール : ゼロ・トゥ・ワン― (億万長者)

This book will make you rethink where modern technology is going, and how it will change any future society. This is not what I expected. More of interest to any reader is how we the people, will change in a more positive way via technology. Maybe I thought this would be a simple one way message by a billionaire. I was wrong. It is a deep reflexion of observations from various startups. It is a great list of notes on AI, Cryptocurrencies, the Internet of things IOT, or any other new technology we are seeing emerge, often driven by mobile phones.

The author Peter Thiel, is trying to enlighten the reader with what he has seen so far, and suspects is coming in the future as well. He is not making a more expected case of "this is what I know, listen to me, because I know the way forward". It is not a rich guy talking about himself and his world views.

For some reason, I opened this book with some prejudice, and was surprised by the neutral opinions that may help many trying to know what could happen in the future. The author is a special person, a rare talent for original thinking, and it shows in many of his observations. He knows that out of the box thinking is a rare thing. He understands that great ideas are not easy to come by. Personal drive and ambition vary with every individual. There is no formula for easy success. Not much can easily be repeated.

One of the most interesting points in the book is that skill sets need to match. A very talented person who can come up with a great idea, is often not the best person to grow it to its full potential. This should not be seen as negative. The founder of Groupon, who no longer runs the firm he founded, is a good example. To have conceived of a concept and brought it to market, is a great accomplishment. 

Taking it to IPO or any other market dominance is only secondary. Great managers can manage and grow businesses. However, those same managers cannot usually come up with the original idea in the first place. It is a different skill set. It would not be reasonable to think that all CEO startup creators can do everything A-Z. That just does not happen often and should not even be expected. Just being of that high performance level is all that should be looked for, nothing more. I never considered this more realistic view of personal abilities. I guess I needed a reality check on any start up CEO's skill set.

The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:

1) There is a clear pattern of personality types working hard that keep being successful, it is never pure luck. Every CEO often has many, but often not all, of the same basic traits needed to succeed.


2) The people, the team or the management are what drives long term success never a single product. Products and features can come and go from a solid team and keeps moving forward.

3) Facebook had many non-believers before its IPO. The original concept was able to pivot into mobile and never looked back. This was due to the executive team. 

The best thing about this unique set of observations, is that they are building blocks that can help all businesses. It can help anybody figure out where technology may be going, and the business chances that will result. It also gives a lot of insight into how to really take on any new business, define its goals, and complete a mission that counts. Being realistic in life and business, is what you get a true sense of from Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal. Originality is appreciated for its rarity. The title Zero to One explains this well. 

Coming up with a real innovation changes the economic game with concrete value. You go from nothing (zero), to something (one). A second imitator, never comes close to bringing the same impact to the same economy a second time. At best, they can seem to be 1.1 in full impact. You could say that Google represents this. Many people around the world now have better access to information from Google, the world's economy is better today and has improved from Zero to One. Bing and many other search engines, have not had the same life changing impact, only a fraction more at best. A true "game changer" is significant, an incremental improvement is not. This is just one of many examples that I learned from in this book. It turned out to be a great surprise. Highly Recommended!


Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

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あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズLinkedin Instagram またはTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位リクルーター60,000以上のフォロワー既に持っています!クリックしてください

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      Mark  Pink                               Shinichi Nagasawa
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Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday Feature Book Review: How to Manage Your Slaves by Marcus Sidonius Falx with Jerry Toner 奴隷のしつけ方: ジェリー・トナー マルクス・シドニウス・ファルクス

When I first read the book title, I said to myself, "that must be about investment banking!" I picked it up, and soon realized the slaves were not modern interns or financial at all, but ancient and classical slaves from the Roman era. The bigger surprise though was how many real management tips on these slaves back then, can be re-used today within banks or securities firms. Oddly, the approach remains unchanged by time. it worked then, and it can work today.

This is an amazingly well-researched book. It is a set of guidelines by a real slave owner on how other slave owners should manage their slaves. We must remember the context at the time. Owning slaves was a basic benefit of the war for spoils economy in Rome at the time. Writing down such a set of guidelines would be similar to a person today writing down a similar guide to better gardening today. 

It should be understood that slave owners at the time rarely had one or two slaves to manage. Machines did not exist, so labour in the farms was typically human or animal. How to keep a farm and any passive income flowing in the Roman economy was linked directly to how well you managed any resource, including the slave property on your farm. It may be disagreeable today, but it is still a fascinating reading. 

There are 11 chapters in this book including "How to buy a slave, Getting the best from your slaves, Sex and slaves, What makes a good slave, and even, The punishment of slaves". I was not sure how to feel when reading these parts, but I learned a lot more than I expected. The most positive thing, was that many slaves worked to buy their own freedom over years. In large cities, former Roman citizens with debts often sold themselves into slavery (or a gladiatorial school) to escape heavy debts. This was by economic choice not circumstance.

Ultimately, this is a common economic system during the Roman Empire that worked well, and did so for many generations. Nothing lasts forever, but there was a balance in life back then as well. There were festivals where the tables could turn during festivals. Slaves could verbally threaten their slave owners badly during the festival. They could get drunk and out of hand once a year in a time called the "Saturnalia" that lasted over several days starting December 17. Many of these concepts have sometimes been kept within modern management.

I had no idea of this detail and it reminded me of Japanese team building after work drinks. Sometimes called today "nomunication" or drinking(nomu) while communicating. It is a drinking & bonding time at work where even if you complain about the boss perhaps even to his or her face in a drunken state, all is forgiven by the morning after. It is a kind of stress release for a complex system. There were many other similar re-uses of these concepts still alive in modern organizations today. 

The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:

1) These rules on slave management from Roman Times are time tested for over 2000 years. They may also work to manage people in modern times.

2) Unlike more recently, many slaves bought their freedom in ancient Rome. They sometimes went on to great financial success within Rome. Some becoming even more wealthy than their previous owners due to business.

3) Many business owners since Roman times have had common issues with entrepreneurs today. The similar challenges and parallels are amazing to see.

Later chapters explain how slaves could be freed and live the Roman dream. They could sometimes rise in society and become slave owners themselves via economic success. It seems that there was a lot of fluidity in Roman Society. How, only if you could learn the language, customs and adapt your duties into a way of making money. As being a Roman was not linked to nationality or native toungue, but being a full citizen of the empire, there seemed to be a lot of class movement for the bright and entrepreneurial. 

This was not expected from the book and it really opened my eyes. The financial incentives for good management are made very clear. Many management principles are learned in this book and are well explained with constant examples of how things can go well or badly if you do not follow the guidelines. This was one of the biggest book surprises I have ever come across. Highly Recommended!

Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Linkedin Instagram or TwitterWe are the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, with over 60,000+ followers globally! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズLinkedin Instagram またはTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位リクルーター60,000以上のフォロワー既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.

Tokyo                                          Tokyo


      Mark  Pink                               Shinichi Nagasawa
Direct + 81 3 3505 3891              Direct + 81 3 3505 3891

Friday, April 6, 2018

Friday Feature Review: "The Miracle" Asia's Quest for Wealth by Michael Schuman マイケル・シューマンによって奇跡"アジアのウェルス

Family Wealth, with its own Family Office investment teams & financial influence, has grown fast in Asia. This book is about how so many global billionaire families today, have often started in the Asian region. China, Japan, India & Korea, are just some of the many countries in Asia that are featured in this book, in great fascinating detail. All of these wealthy families in the region, have been global class level entrepreneurs. 

These are the countries who then created "Miracle" like economies of both size and scale. The author Michael Schuman, does a great job of giving a lot of context across many countries in Asia, as to why this all happened. His description really lays out a clear plan of wealth creation. His documentary style is flavored with a number of fascinating tidbits on how many global names began from pirates to graft or corruption. No stone is left unturned. I liked the balance of the "warts and all" style very much.

After the defeat of Japan in the second world war, and the nationwide destruction across Japan, entrepreneurs finally emerged. Akio Morita started Sony in a bombed out department store soon after WWII with a partial roof. The staff needed to use umbrellas in the office when it rained. It is from these humble beginnings that the global icon grew more than 60 years ago. The whole book was full of what I consider "tasty mind candy" for similar history lovers of Asia's brand of capitalism.


The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that impact any reader are:


1) There is always one founder who begins every major future conglomerate. A major driver who can start with one single shop.


2) Perfect timing from the economy often helps build a new company during the company's early growth phase.


3) If you are not already in business, you cannot often take advantage of the opportunities all around you. You never know when the best time to start is. In fact, there is no best time, only a chance to start now. 


I learned a lot about the business history of India, Indonesia and Taiwan. They are all key players now, but the amount of firms that have grown from the region, was a true surprise that I had not expected. It all gives me a lot more comfort at seeing how many Asian companies and industries today have taken root, and may have a further edge in the future. I always judge a book by two main questions. Did I learn a lot about finance & business? Was there enough knowledge in the book that made me feel it was time well spent? Well, the answer is "Yes, absolutely" to both. Highly Recommended!

Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Linkedin or on TwitterWe are the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, with over 60,000+ followers globally! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズLinkedinまたはTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位リクルーター60,000以上のフォロワー既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.

Tokyo                                          Tokyo


      Mark  Pink                               Shinichi Nagasawa
Direct + 81 3 3505 3891              Direct + 81 3 3505 3891

Monday, April 2, 2018

Japanese bank MUFG sued in Tokyo, New York for ' wrongful sacking' of employees

Japanese bank MUFG sued in Tokyo, New York for ' wrongful sacking' of employees. (Reposted with permission from Walter Sim, reporter at The Straits Times)

TOKYO - Two former employees of Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) filed separate suits against the bank in New York and Tokyo for unlawful dismissal, which came after they each tried to seek recourse within the company for discrimination and harassment. According to court filings for both cases seen by The Sunday Times, the megabank is alleged to have subjected the two employees to "discriminatory and retaliatory treatment" for ostensibly failing to conform to traditional Japanese workplace etiquette.

Mr Shunsuke Fujii, who grew up in the United States, said in papers filed through his lawyers Bantle & Levy in New York on Friday (30/3) that he was berated by his ethnic Japanese superiors and colleagues for his inability to speak and write Japanese fluently, and was subjected to workplace "double standards". He raised the matter internally, but was accused of causing "problems" and dismissed on June 5 last year. And in Tokyo, Mr Glen Wood, a Canadian with two decades of experience in Japan's finance sector, accused the company of unfairly sidelining him with a demotion and hefty pay cut after he applied for leave to take care of his son, Alexander, when he was born in 2015. He lodged a civil complaint for what is known locally as 'paternity harassment', but the bank sacked him last month (Mar) despite the ongoing case. On Friday (30/3), he filed a suit for wrongful termination through his lawyers Yoshitaka Imaizumi and Daiki Enatsu. The cases against MUFG came amid growing global attention towards workplace harassment issues.

WORKPLACE BULLYING
In New York, Mr Fujii joined MUFG Securities Americas' Japanese equities team in October 2014. According to court papers, Mr Fujii said he faced discrimination by his superior, Mr Masami Yamada, who is executive director and head of Japanese equity sales in the US, and other colleagues who are "predominantly citizens of Japan and ethnically Japanese (speaking Japanese as a first language and self-identifying as Japanese)". Despite English being the official working language, Mr Fujii pointed to e-mails and verbal communication being conveyed in Japanese. He also said that he was subject to "different standards of behaviour and performance" than his Japanese colleagues, who he said "committed numerous errors and often acted aggressively and inappropriately with impunity", but faced no consequences.

In one case in March 2016, Mr Fujii was accused of going behind the backs of two superiors, including Mr Yamada, when a client voted for him instead of them in a quarterly vote to rank brokers. His superiors accused him of covertly conspiring with the client and neglecting to share crucial information - charges which Mr Fujii denied.  4/1/2018 Japanese bank MUFG sued in Tokyo, New York for 'wrongful sacking' of employees. After that incident, his superiors "spoke in Japanese in front of Fujii in order to mock him and/or preventing him from understanding what they were discussing", the court papers said. Mr Yamada also "demanded an apology from Mr Fujii for disagreeing with him in front of other employees". In another case in May 2016, Mr Fujii was insulted by a colleague, Ms Maki Tanaka, as being namaiki (nonconforming and disrespectful) as a gaijin (foreigner) who only spoke English fluently, the court documents said. Mr Fujii also cited a case of Ms Tanaka calling another Japanese-American colleague bakayarou (stupid buffoon) and wakazou (arrogant young moron). When Mr Fujii said he wanted to raise the issue with human resources, Mr Yamada responded "in a threatening tone that there was nothing wrong with Tanaka's conduct and that if Fujii was not happy, he should leave the company". 

The papers added: "Yamada also threatened to fire Fujii if such 'incidents' continued."  Mr Fujii was later accused of behaviour that was "making some individuals feel uncomfortable", and despite asking for information about his colleagues' claims against him, was told to "just cut it out". He was dismissed on June 5 last year due to "streamlining and cost-cutting". According to the papers, Mr Fujii believed he was the only employee let go. An internal e-mail circulated among MUFG employees also said he was terminated due to "his problems". 

PATERNITY HARASSMENT In the other case, Mr Wood told The Sunday Times in an interview last November that his treatment by Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities was unjust. Under his watch as head of global sales, revenues doubled between 2012 and 2015 and the company grew its base of institutional investors. While the company has a childcare leave policy, its in-house policy rulebook said those applying for childcare leave must produce a Japanese document called a "maternity health record book" that is issued by a local municipality. But this was impossible to get as his partner had given birth in Nepal, where she had gone for work. When MUFJ rejected his application, he consulted experts and government offices, who told him that paternity leave should still be granted, and that if the company insisted, he could provide a DNA test as proof of paternity "This isn't about a foreigner trying to go against the Japanese system. I follow all the rules, my e-mails are in Japanese, I do everything in Japanese," he stressed. But despite five separate doctors certifying that Mr Wood was mentally healthy and should be allowed to return to work, including a test by a company doctor that MUFJ ordered in December, the bank continued to dither until it terminated his employment on March 9. 


His official last day is April 8. Among the reasons cited by MUFJ were Mr Wood's disclosure of "untrue harassment claims to the media", which in turn damaged the bank's reputation. He was also accused of submitting proprietary information to the courts". Mr Wood told ST that this was a clear example of the company trying to operate above the law, as it was "trying to circumvent the court ruling in making its own judgment". He added: "Documents were submitted to the courts for self-preservation as proof of harassment by the company. Clearly, without the submission of such documents, no harassment claims could ever be proven in a court of law."  MUFJ should not be allowed to "operate above the law", he said. "Japanese workplace culture has to move with the times, but many mega-corporations are still doing things that are no longer acceptable."

Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Linkedin or on TwitterWe are the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, with over 60,000+ followers globally! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズLinkedinまたはTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位リクルーター60,000以上のフォロワー既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.

Tokyo                                          Tokyo


      Mark  Pink                               Shinichi Nagasawa
Direct + 81 3 3505 3891              Direct + 81 3 3505 3891

Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday Feature Book Review: "Capital in the 21st Century" by Thomas Piketty トマ・ピケティによる "21世紀の首都"

This book is the new bible for economics globally. This is not one man's opinion, but the thoughts of a large team of 30 economists. They explain results from a huge pool of data that is presented with patterns gathered from over 15 years of research. The data is from more than 20 countries covering over 200 years of income tax. The most attractive point about this effort, is the clear data seen in new ways so clearly in a pattern. To suspect a theory is one thing, but to see it proven, with hard data, is another. This enlightenment is its genius.

There are 4 parts to this very major volume. The first 3 sections explain the historical evidence of wealth distribution. Recently media call them the 1%, but former US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, called them "economic royalists". Concentrated power at the top of society. There are many names for the same people at the top of any economy. This is not only about the US today, but many rich and successful countries in modern economic history. 

Over 100 years ago, in France, during the "Belle Epoque" the comparison was clear. It was a society that valued equality among its citizens, but in fact, was really run by wealthy families, mostly inherited fortunes. What a society says it values, but then supports differently or economically, is what this great project explains so well. This is not one man's opinion or vision. It is an explanation of large patterns from large amounts of people over recent history. A kind of mirror to society, of what economic trends have taken place, and their impact.


At the core, wealthy families can grow their assets at roughly twice the growth of the local economy. If a country rises by 2-3% in economic growth, then its rich families should be able to expect 4-6% growth in income. Not all multi-generational rich families succeed, but most do, and the data proves this with a lot of clear evidence. The rise of Family Offices globally, is a good reflection of this trend. It is a high growth part of Private Banking, and is interesting food for thought economically from several angles.

The conclusions in part 4 are more difficult to accept for some. However, when it comes to choosing what is best for any society, how do you value the trade off? Ultimately, is it better for a small amount of tax from the top 1% be used to help the bottom 20% of the same society? The impact on this bottom would have a huge impact on the quality of life for all levels of the same society. 

If this more balanced redistribution has benefitted the quality of life in Europe, should other regions follow? The bottom poor segments of any society can benefit greatly from government programs, especially health care. As they are a really "working class", being healthy doing these tough jobs means better economics for all. Can the US and other countries see the full value to follow this path themselves? By having a more comfortable poor strata of society, then the middle class and rich society benefit as well. Could this be the best way to really live in a "win win" world?


The Top 4 Takeaways from this book that impact any reader are:


1) The data seems to show that rich families can benefit from higher income at twice the rate of any economy. 
2) Rich families often create a family office to grow their wealth long term. This trend is a strong one, and can often grow at twice the rate of the local economy. 
3) By having a healthy rich class that is kept strong economically by a family office, more charity support and medical research can be funded to help all levels of the society.
4) The 1% are not just a US concept. All successful societies are dominated by the few at the top. The challenge is redistributing wealth more widely for all.

What I wonder most is has this often been the case over very long periods of time? Is it just modern history, or all human history that this can impact? Is this the real best norm for all human societies over the last 5,000+ years since Mesopotamia? We only have 200 years so far. It is too bad that such data longer sets would be impossible to find, I would now love to read it. At over 700+ pages of text, there is too much to discuss in a short book review. This is a huge intellectual, tasty meal of data, to fully gorge on should you have the time and desire. Highly recommended without hesitation!


Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Linkedin or on TwitterWe are the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, with over 60,000+ followers globally! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズLinkedinまたはTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位リクルーター60,000以上のフォロワー既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.

Tokyo                                          Tokyo


      Mark  Pink                               Shinichi Nagasawa
Direct + 81 3 3505 3891              Direct + 81 3 3505 3891