KKR hires Shinsei advisor in Japan

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts announced that it has hired Hisashi Hosokawa, a former Shinsei advisor as well as a former vice minister at Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry, to be a senior advisor for KKR in Japan.

KKR continued its ongoing series of hirings in Asia, announcing yesterday that it has appointed Hisashi Hosokawa as a senior advisor in Japan.

Hosokawa is a former vice minister for international economic affairs at Japan’s hugely influential Ministry of International Trade & Industry, a government agency which was renamed the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2001. He’s also been a non-executive advisor to the Long Term Credit Bank of Japan (now Shinsei Bank), and has served on the boards or as an advisor to several Asian companies.

“Mr. Hosokawa’s extensive knowledge of Japanese business and regulatory bodies, and focus on reform and the recovery of Japanese companies, will add a significant further dimension to our operations in this market,” said Joseph Bae, who leads KKR’s business in Asia, in a statement.

Hosokawa’s hiring is just the latest in a series of KKR hires in Asia in recent months. It hired David Liu, a former co-head of Morgan Stanley’s private equity arm, as a managing director of its Hong Kong office in January; Ming Lu, a former managing director at CCMP Capital Asia, as a managing director in Hong Kong in February; and Taketo Yamakawa, the former CEO of GE Consumer Finance in Japan, as CEO of its Japanese operations in March.

KKR recently announced major deals in the region, including a $900 million (€705.6 million) acquisition in April of Palo Alto, California-based Flextronics Software Systems, whose manufacturing operations are based mainly in India. Last month, the firm announced a A$1.6 billion ($1.2 billion, €957 million) buyout of Australian waste management company Brambles Industries last month, the largest management buyout in Australian history.

KKR has told limited partners that it is considering raising a separate Asia-focused fund next year, for which it would aim to raise at least $1 billion. It is currently in the market with its 2006 fund, which has a target of more than $10 billion.