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.
Yoshinobu Fukushima joined Takenaka Partners in June 2002. He has extensive experience providing technical advisory services in the field of finance, which includes banking, corporate finance, project finance, real estate and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining Takenaka Partners, Mr. Fukushima was engaged in transaction support and financial advisory services in the fields of distressed markets, business recovery and risk management with KPMG in Tokyo and Los Angeles as Director. Prior to KPMG, Mr. Fukushima was a member of the Senior Management Team at Nippon Credit Bank as Managing Director and CEO of Nippon Credit Australia Ltd. (Sydney), General Manager of International Planning Division (Tokyo), President & CEO of Nippon Credit Trust Company (New York), and General Manager of Nippon Credit Bank, Los Angeles Agency. He has over 20 years of banking experience in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and the U.S. His expertise includes credit and financial analysis, real estate financing, appraisal, project financing, structured financing, M&A, negotiation and documentation. Mr. Fukushima is also an Executive Vice President and Secretary of Japan Business Association of Southern California. Mr. Fukushima received a Bachelor of Art degree in Economics from Hitotsubashi University in Japan, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of California, Berkeley.
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.
Toshiaki Amimoto joined Takenaka Partners in November 2002. Mr. Amimoto started his career with Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan and has been involved in its overseas marketing and planning for over 10 years. Prior to joining Takenaka Partners he worked for the Nippon Credit Bank Ltd. and was responsible for the international banking and capital markets areas in London and Tokyo. He also worked as a Director in the Financial Advisory Service practice of KPMG LLP and focused on mergers and acquisitions, and valuation of companies. As a Japanese national educated in both Japan and the U. S., he has extensive experience in directing and managing broad ranging strategic projects for Japanese companies investing in the U.S. Mr. Amimoto received a Bachelor of Economics degree from Waseda University in Japan and his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from The Anderson School at UCLA. He also participated in a one year scholarship exchange student program at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He is a member of the Japan Business Association of Southern California, Downtown Committee.
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).
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.
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.
Ippei Suzuki joined Takenaka Partners in April 2007. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the IT industry, devoting his career in cross border business development in the international high tech market. His recent 7 years has been in the IT Security market, serving as a business and technology specialist for many US and Japan based companies. Prior to joining Takenaka Partners, Mr. Suzuki held executive positions in various US based IT Security companies both public and private, managing Business Development and Sales operations. In his beginning of his career, he worked in Japan, joining a major Japanese electronics manufacturer. As an international business specialist, he successfully established numerous business deals between Japanese and US companies in both directions, and being fluent in both languages, he helped domestic oriented companies transition into a global operation by spearheading its international market expansion. The most recent is a 7 figure OEM contract between a US security software company and a major Japanese PC manufacturer. Also he represented a leading Japanese wireless communication carrier as their director to perform a technical due diligence to successfully close a $100M investment towards a strategic joint venture. From a technical aspect, Mr. Suzuki is a specialist in a wide array of network security technology, including advanced technology such as encryption, smart cards and biometrics. Mr. Suzuki received a Bachelor of Science degree from Waseda University School of Science and Engineering.
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.