According to The Nikkei Asian Review, Japan's listed companies are increasingly eager for people with senior management experience to sit on their boards as outside directors. With large shareholders such as asset managers pressing the companies they invest in to appoint directors with proven business acumen, the trend looks likely to continue.
Outside directors became much more common at listed companies after Japan adopted the Corporate Governance Code in 2015. But those appointees were mostly professionals, such as lawyers and academics.
Of the 50 highest-valued companies in Japan that end their business year in December and hold general shareholders meetings in March, 35 will have at least one outside director who has been a director or executive officer of a company, according to Takara Printing, which printed shareholder meeting notices for the companies.
The number of such outside directors is expected to rise by 10, or 18%, to 66 compared with the previous year. Those with senior management experience are thus expected to account for 40% of the 163 outside directors expected to be appointed by the 50 companies, up 5 percentage points from a year earlier.
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