Japanese Proxy Agency Founder Dies

Manifest is very sad to report the passing of Miss Kuny Kobayashi, the founder of Governance Visions, a Japanese proxy voting agency. We first got to know Kuny during Manifest’s partnership with IRRC and we were impressed with her determination to reform the governance and proxy problems in the Japanese market.

Before passing away last Friday she wrote a letter to her clients letting them know of what lay ahead. This is the English translation from her colleague, Tatsuya Imade.

“Since its establishment in October, 2005, Governance Visions, having corporate governance-related field as its corporate mission, has been providing supporting services for proxy voting for institutional investors. While I have invested more than 100 million yen of my private capital into this venture with a belief that the perfection of the on-line electronic proxy voting was my lifework mission, we have not yet reached the point of completing the indispensable infrastructure in the financial system partly due to the burdensome upfront investments in its IT system.

Under that circumstance, my physical condition went bad at the end of last year and I was diagnosed thru physical examination that I was a late-stage cancer patient with multiple metastases originated from breast cancer emerged in 1999 which I believed as completely cured. After that I have made all the efforts to use my limited time for our clients until the day I became unable to move and hospitalized.

Let me apologize for causing you trouble unintentionally as a result of continuous long-hour working without any days off in order to promote streamlining of the institutional investors’ proxy voting. I believe that, some day, young entrepreneurs with the same visions and aspirations will materialize what I believed.”

At a time when the markets appear to be fuelled by pure unaccountable greed, it is reassuring to know that there are still people with a vocation and a deep desire to do the right thing to help others. Kuny was deeply committed to a daunting challenge and deserves to be honoured and remembered for her work. Our sincere condolences go to her friends, family, colleagues and clients.

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