Yukuo Takenaka established Takenaka Partners in March 1989. Mr. Takenaka has served to bridge the cultural gap between businesses in Asia (particularly Japan) and the rest of the world for many decades. He is recognized for his experience in helping clients identify, contact, and negotiate with potential M & A targets and strategic partners. In 1979, the White House and the Governor of California requested Mr. Takenaka assist the U.S. Department of Commerce and the California Department of Economic and Business Development in projects to promote U.S. – Japan trade relations. On both sides of the Pacific, he serves as senior advisor or board member to companies in a wide range of industries as well as cultural and professional organizations, including the World Trade Center Association of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Japan America Society of Southern California. Mr. Takenaka was also recently elected to the World Services Group board. Takenaka Partners is the exclusive investment banking firm for Japan and is currently the only investment banking member firm to be represented on the WSG board.
Yukuo Takenaka was a partner of KPMG Peat Marwick and the National Director of their Japanese Practice for over 24 years. He also served as Chairman of Project Japan for the parent company, Klynveld Peat Marwick Geordeler (KPMG) for fifteen years. With Mr. Takenaka’s leadership, Project Japan was officially established in 1978 to promote and develop business opportunities around the world for KPMG’s Japanese clientele. In 2008, Mr. Takenaka was honored as the Founding Chairman of Project Japan in Tokyo at KPMG’s 30th anniversary of Project Japan.
Thoroughly bilingual, he is the author of numerous magazine articles and books, frequently appears in the media both in the U.S. and Japan, and is widely sought after as a guest speaker on the subject of cross-border investments. Among his six books is the Japanese best seller, Merger and Acquisition Strategy, published by Diamond Co. in 1987.
Mr. Takenaka is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. He graduated from the University of Utah with an accounting degree in 1965 and became a CPA in 1967, two years after joining KPMG Peat Marwick. Born in Japan, where he received his early education, Mr. Takenaka moved to the United States as a teenager where he became a naturalized citizen.
Mitsuo Kubota joined Takenaka Partners in April 2004. Prior to joining Takenaka Partners, Mr. Kubota was deeply involved in Hitachi’s international business activities, particularly with respect to sales and marketing for IT related products and systems, automotive parts, air-conditioning equipment, steel mill plants, hydro power plants, and thermal power plants, among other products. His international business experience with Hitachi and its affiliated companies spanned over 40 years. Mr. Kubota also has extensive experience in corporate management both in Japan and in Europe. He has enjoyed a remarkable career as Chairman and CEO of Hitachi Data Systems Europe Holding B. V., a joint venture between Hitachi and EDS, USA. As Chairman and CEO, Mr. Kubota steered Hitachi Data Systems to achieve record sales and market share for its computer products in Europe. In addition, Mr. Kubota was instrumental in building strong relationships with both customers and employees. Mr. Kubota received a Bachelor of Commercial Science degree from Meiji University.
Kristine Fujita joined Takenaka Partners in September 1998, and is currently responsible for managing our firm’s Investment Banking transactions. Since joining Takenaka Partners, Ms. Fujita has successfully executed strategic transactions on behalf of clients involved in a diverse array of industries. Prior to Takenaka Partners, Ms. Fujita was a Senior Consultant with Deloitte’s Capital Markets Group and Business Assurance & Advisory Division, servicing large multinational corporations. Prior to joining Deloitte, Ms. Fujita was a Postgraduate Technical Assistant at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in Norwalk, Connecticut. Ms. Fujita earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Southern California and Master of Accounting degree from the University of Southern California. Ms. Fujita is also a Certified Public Accountant (inactive), has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the CFA Institute (formerly known as the Association of Investment Management and Research).
Minoru Awabayashi joined Takenaka Partners in April 2016. Prior to joining Takenaka Partners, Mr. Awabayashi owned and managed a specialty manufacturing and distribution company in Japan with factories in China and Korea. He has extensive experience in international trade and retail distribution in Japan among other international markets. Mr. Awabayashi also has over 20 years of experience as a marketing consultant and has served as both a Partner and Managing Director for a San Francisco-based investment banking firm with primary focus on strategic transactions between the United States and Japan. He has managed and been involved in the development of many cross-border strategic alliances and acquisitions. He is frequently consulted by both US and Japanese companies regarding the cultural ramifications of foreign strategies and policies. His broad experience in market research and analysis, strategic alliance identification and cross culture negotiations will benefit our clients. Mr. Awabayashi received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from the School of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley.
Joseph Kim joined Takenaka Partners in January 2005, and has extensive experience in investment banking, financial advisory, and strategic planning. Mr. Kim’s prior experience includes serving as a Director at Marshall & Stevens and as an Associate at Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin (HLHZ). As a Director at Marshall & Stevens, Mr. Kim managed valuation and consulting engagements for merger & acquisition, fairness opinions, and SEC related purposes. Prior to Marshall & Stevens, during his tenure at HLHZ, Mr. Kim co-founded the Communications, Entertainment & Media group where he supported a variety of corporate finance, mergers & acquisition, and restructuring engagements within those industries. Mr. Kim was also a Director of Corporate Development at PeopleLink, an Internet infrastructure company. At PeopleLink, Mr. Kim was responsible for business development, strategic planning, technology licensing, and strategic partnership initiatives. Mr. Kim received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
Kevin Tan joined Takenaka Partners in February 2016. He has a decade of transactional experience in public and private equity markets. Prior to joining Takenaka Partners, he was a private equity professional for a multinational group in Indonesia, focusing on the energy, water treatment, mining, property and agriculture sectors. Before that, he was part of the institutional equity sales team at Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA) in Indonesia, where he was responsible for facilitating trades, offerings, and private placements of shares for publicly listed companies to institutional investors worldwide. He was also a Corporate Development / M&A professional at a leading global pulp and paper company, Paper Excellence. He has experience with restructuring projects and complex acquisitions with over a billion USD in deal size. Mr. Tan started his career as an Analyst at Citibank in Singapore. Mr. Tan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and International Business from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.
Lars Skari joined Takenaka Partners in April 2019 and is responsible for managing our firm’s advisory services with a focus on digital, analytics and Information Technology. Prior to joining Takenaka Partners Mr. Skari co-founded a technology start-up at the intersection of IoT, analytics and insurance. Mr. Skari was a Managing Partner with Infosys Consulting, where over a 10-year period he grew the financial services and insurance practices to 150 consultants and $50M in annual advisory revenue. He was also a manager with Accenture in California and Scandinavia. Mr. Skari has over 25 years of experience advising fortune 500 clients on their digital, analytics and IT transformations. He is an expert at leveraging data and technology for strategic differentiation and operational effectiveness, and has significant experience introducing new technologies to Japanese companies. He is accustomed to operating in cross-border, multi-cultural environments, having worked with clients and managed teams in North America, Europe and Asia. Mr. Skari received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering with High Honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from USC’s Marshall School of Business.
Hidehito “Jake” Kanai joined Takenaka Partners as a senior member of the executive team in May 2020. Before joining Takenaka Partners, Mr. Kanai spent three years working as a Partner in the Assurance and Outsourcing Services Group at Singer Lewak, specializing in rendering financial statement audits under US GAAP/JGAAP/IFRS, attestation services such as J-SOX audit, M&A due diligence, and business process outsourcing and leading the business development activities of the Asia Practice. Prior to that he spent ten years in Japan, first working as a Minority Owner, COO, and CFO at Capital Servicing Group – Asia and then working as the Executive Director of Sales Management at CBRE Japan K.K.
Mr. Kanai first began his career at KPMG LLP in the Los Angeles and Mountain View offices, as a Partner in the Assurance and Advisory Service Group, servicing high-tech, manufacturing, and consumer market clients.
Mr. Kanai received his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of California and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the California Board of Accountancy.
Koji Shinohara joined Takenaka Partners in May 2021. He is a seasoned finance professional with broad experience working in public accounting, with global Japanese companies, and taking a company public and public company management. Before joining Takenaka Partners, Mr. Shinohara was the CFO of Kura Sushi USA, Inc., playing a key role in guiding the company to a successful IPO on NASDAQ. Prior to that, he was the Executive VP and CFO of HOYA Holdings, Inc., a wholly owned sub of HOYA Corporation where he led approximately ten M&A projects from a tax, accounting, and financial perspective in the U.S. His prior experience also includes serving as Senior Manager at KPMG LLP, CFO and Treasurer at Hankyu International Transport (USA), Inc., Manager at Arthur Anderson LLP and Associate at OHSHIMA & Associate. Mr. Shinohara received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Nihon University and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Oklahoma City University. He is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of California and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Hideo Takada has over 30 years of public accounting experience, providing audit, review, tax compliance and advisory services to Japanese subsidiaries in the US. He began his career as an auditor at KPMG’s Tokyo office before transferring to KPMG’s Atlanta office in 1985. He became a partner in 1992 and successfully established the firm’s Japanese Practice in the Southeast. After leaving KPMG in 2012, he then went on to found his own practice, Takada LLC.
Mr. Takada is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Georgia and a previous member of the Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (Tokyo). He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and participates in their Peer Review Program. Furthermore, he is an executive board member of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia. Mr. Takada holds a bachelor’s degree from Keio University.
Douglas Montgomery has over 17 years of business experience in managing entertainment content around the world, working closely with both clients and creators to maximize windows, product position (digital and physical), choice of platform, and deal terms. He previously spent 15 years with Warner Bros. Entertainment, consulting for global clients such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Comcast, Microsoft, and Verizon. Before that, he worked at the head office of Global Merchandising for Walmart Stores Inc., where his group worked to integrate overseas banners into the Walmart eco-system. Recent projects include market expansion of an online B2B marketplace for movie / television rights, advertising video-on-demand, and determining the potential for foreign content in the U.S. Mr. Montgomery received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta and an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He has experience working in the US, UK, and Japan.
Fumio Narita joined Takenaka Partners in November 2021. Mr. Narita has over 10 years of experience in the accounting and financial management field in Japan and 14 years of experience in the internal audit consulting and financial management field in the US. Before joining Takenaka Partners, Mr. Narita spent 2 years establishing the PAMA Region Internal Audit team at NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.), Inc. and prior to that, he spent 12 years working as a risk and accounting advisory service consulting manager at Plante & Moran PLLC. He has a wide variety of experience in the manufacturing and distribution, food and beverage, medical, and education industries, providing services to companies with sales ranging from $4 million to $5 billion. Mr. Narita received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Southwestern Adventist University and a Master of Business Administration, Finance/Accounting degree from Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University. Mr. Narita is also a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Fraud Examiner, and Chartered Global Management Accountant.
Yoshio Takai joined Takenaka Partners in November 2021 and has extensive financial management, M&A advisory, corporate development, and corporate strategy services experience in a variety of industries, including trading, manufacturing, banking, and energy. Prior to joining Takenaka Partners, Mr. Takai served as the Executive Vice President, CFO, and Director of the Board of Japan Pulp & Paper (U.S.A.) Corporation, the US subsidiary of Japan Pulp and Paper Company, Ltd., a public company based in Japan with revenues of $4.9 billion. Before that, Mr. Takai was the Vice President of Compliance at Gould Paper Corporation, where he facilitated post-merger integration between the company and Japan Pulp and Paper (U.S.A.) Corporation. Prior to that, he spent 10 years providing M&A advisory services and other services at The Long Term Credit Bank of Japan, Ltd, (now Shinsei Bank). Mr. Takai received a Bachelor of Science degree in Material Science from Yokohama National University and a Master of Science degree in Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Takai is also a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Shigeki Fujisawa joined Takenaka Partners in March 2022 and is currently responsible for providing tax advisory services primarily related to M&A and Reorganization. Prior to joining Takenaka Partners, Mr. Fujisawa was working for Big 4 Accounting firms in the US and Japan for 17 years and has extensive experience in providing business tax compliance and consulting services, including tax due diligence on cross-border M&A and post-merger integration, to Japanese multi-national companies. Also, Mr. Fujisawa currently serves as International Tax Director of a Japanese start-up company, and he is responsible for the company’s global tax planning and risk management.
Mr. Fujisawa received a Bachelor of Science in Human Science from Waseda University and a Master of Science in Accounting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Mr. Fujisawa is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of California (inactive).