KKR appoints senior advisor for Japan

The buyout firm has appointed Yoshiharu Fukuhara, honorary chairman of luxury cosmetic line Shiseido, as a senior advisor in Japan.

Global buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has appointed Yoshiharu Fukuhara as a senior advisor for its Japan activities.

Since 2001, Fukuhara has been the honorary chairman of Shiseido, a luxury cosmetics and fragrances manufacturer in Japan. The grandson of Shiseido’s founder, Fukuhara joined the company in 1953. He was appointed president and chief executive officer in 1987 and chairman of its board in 1997.

“In these challenging times for Japanese companies as they strive to broaden their business, including looking at further developing their global footprint, I look forward to partnering with KKR to help Japanese companies achieve these important goals,” Fukuhara said in a statement.

Foreign private equity firms continue to find it difficult to make investments in Japan, and the appointment of senior members of the domestic business fraternity is a means adopted by many private equity firms to localise their teams and to allay fears about foreign ownership of local assets. Firms can also leverage on the respect these senior business professionals command in Japan and the networks they bring along.

Last month, KKR appointed John Bryson, former chairman and chief executive of Edison International, a public utility holding company in California, as a senior advisor to its infrastructure team.

Established in 1976, KKR has offices in New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Menlo Park, San Francisco, Beijing and Sydney.