Nippon Life Insurance partners with AXA Life Insurance

Nippon Life Insurance (日本生命保険相互会社) acquires 1% of stock of AXA Life Insurance

Nippon Life Insurance and AXA to jointly offer health insurance product Medi-AxN

Nippon Life Insurance (日本生命保険相互会社) and AXA Life Insurance announced a partnership, and Nippon Life intends to acquire 1% of outstanding shares of AXA Life Insurance to develop a long-term partnership.

Currently AXA’s market capitalization is US$ 62 billion, therefore Nippon Life’s 1% investment in AXA corresponds to about US$ 0.62 billion.

Nippon Life Insurance and AXA are planning to jointly market the health insurance product Medi-AxN (メディ・アン).

Nippon Life Insurance (日本生命保険相互会社)

Nippon Life Insurance (日本生命保険相互会社) was founded on July 4, 1889, is based on Osaka, and has a total of 70,806 employees (of which 18,481 are in-house employees).

Nippon Life Insurance (日本生命保険相互会社) has 113 branch offices, 1562 sales offices and 12,567 distribution partners.

Nippon Life Insurance (日本生命保険相互会社, 日本生命) is a mutual company (相互会社), and not currently traded on any stock exchange.

Annual sales: YEN 7 201 billion (= US$ 60 billion) (FY 2013)
Net income: YEN 248 billion (=US$ 2 billion) (FY 2013)

AXA Life Insurance (アクサ生命保険株式会社, アクサ生命)

The AXA Group is active in 59 countries with about 157,000 employees, with about 100 million customers.

Annual sales: € 92 billion (2014)

AXA is traded on the Paris Euronext exchange.

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Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings Inc to acquire 15% of French reinsurer Scor SE

Sompo continues globalization

Sompo to acquire 15% of Scor SE for approx. US$ 915 million

On March 6, 2015, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings Inc (損保ジャパン日本興亜ホールディングス株式会社) announced the investment in the French reinsurer Scor SE, as follows:

  • 7.8% (8.1% of voting rights) from largest shareholder, Patinex AG. Patient is a Swiss holding company, owned by Martin and Rosmarie Ebner.
  • Sompo plans to increase holding to 15% and send Board Director

Acquisition of 15% share holding corresponds to approx. € 0.83 billion (= US$ 0.9 billion) based on the current market capitalization of SCOR SE.

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings Inc (損保ジャパン日本興亜ホールディングス株式会社)

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings Inc (損保ジャパン日本興亜ホールディングス株式会社) was founded in 2010 by the merger of Sompo Japan and Nipponkoa Insurance.

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings Inc is traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Stock Code 8639), and current market capitalization is approx. YEN 1650 billion (= approx. US$ 14 billion)

In 2013, Sompo acquired UK reinsurer Canopius Group Ltd for UKL 594 million (US$ 972 million).

Scor SE

Scor SE (SE= Societas Europaea) was established in 1970 has a market capitalization of about € 5.55 billion (as of March 5, 2015).

SCOR is listed on Euronext Paris and on SIX Swiss Exchange.

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Sir Stephen Gomersall on UK-Japan relations & globalization

Sir Stephen Gomersall

Sir Stephen Gomersall on corporate governance: Board Meetings should be like sparkling water – not like tea

Globalization and the art of tea

Hitachi – Japan’s most iconic corporation – under the leadership of Chairman & CEO, Hiroaki Nakanishi embarked on the “Smart Transformation Project” to globalize, to face a world where value creation has moved from manufacturing to innovation and solving customer’s problems, and to overcome long years of stagnation and low profits or losses, despite strong technology capabilities.

One of the most important brains behind Hitachi’s reinvention and globalization is Sir Stephen Gomersall. After a long and successful career as diplomat in the British Foreign Service, culminating in the years as British Ambassador to Japan 1999-2004, Sir Stephen joined Hitachi in 2004 as the first foreigner responsible for proposing and implementing Hitachi’s overseas regional strategy. Later Sir Stephen became responsible for all of Hitachi’s business in Europe as Chairman and Chief Executive of Hitachi Europe, and in addition Sir Stephen also served as Director on the Board of all Hitachi 2011-2014 overseeing all of Hitachi Group’s business as Board Director. With Sir Stephen’s leadership Hitachi achieved major business breakthroughs in Europe.

On March 5, 2015, Sir Stephen gave the “Princess Chichibu Memorial Lecture to the Japan British Society at Ueno Gakuen University in Tokyo with deep insights on Japan-British relations, on comparison of Britain’s and Japan’s position in the world, and on the challenges of globalization facing Japan and Japanese corporations – in particular Hitachi.

Sir Stephen is very clear that there is no alternative to globalization: “Globalisation poses tough challenges for Japanese companies, but is the only way forward”.

Read Sir Stephen’s lecture here:

Sir Stephen Gomersall: “Globalisation and the art of tea” (click the link above to read the full text of Sir Stephen’s Princess Chichibu Memorial Lecture)

Sir Stephen Gomersall

Stephen Gomersall was British Ambassador to Japan from 1999-2004, and Hitachi’s Chief Executive for Europe and subsequently Board Director from 2004-2014. He is now Adviser to the CEO, Hitachi Ltd.

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MixRadio: from Nokia to Microsoft to LINE


Messaging giant LINE continuous globalization

MixRadio will complement LINE’s local Japanese LINE Music service

In December 2014, LINE and Microsoft announced that LINE will acquire the streaming music service MixRadio from Microsoft.

LINE already operates a Japan-only streaming music service “LINE Music”. Since music licensing is largely country or region specific, with this acquisition, LINE can develop global streaming music services building on existing licenses.


The service was developed as “NOKIA comes with Music” by NOKIA in 2007, a streaming music service which was built into certain NOKIA phones. Over the years, NOKIA also used the product names Nokia Music, Nokia Music Store and OVI Music Store for this streaming music service.

With the acquisition of NOKIA’s handset unit by Microsoft, the company became part of Microsoft, and Microsoft changed the name to “MixRadio”.

The company operates currently in 31 countries, and has a catalogue of about 36 million songs using the MP3 file format without Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection.

Competitors are Spotify and others.

Headquarters are in Bristol, UK, current CEO is Jyrki Rosenberg.

LINE Corporation

LINE Corporation is a Japanese/Korean messaging group, which is also the No. 1 top grossing global iOS and Android app provider.

For detailed discussion, see Japan game market report (398 pages, pdf-file):
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Mindworks – “the fastest growing digital agency in Greece” – to be acquired by Dentsu

Dentsu 電通

Dentsu continues acquisition of digital and mobile agencies in Europe

To overcome cultural issues of a traditional Japanese leading corporation, Dentsu acquires via London based Dentsu Aegis Network

On March 11, 2015 Dentsu announced another investment in its quest to strengthen its global footprint and to strengthen capabilities in mobile and digital: Dentsu acquires 80% of Greek leading independent digital agency Mindworks, and plans to integrate Mindworks into Dentsu’s Isobar and iProspect networks.

Dentsu has also acquired options to acquire the remaining 20% of Mindworks by 2017.

Mindworks – “the fastest growing digital agency in Greece”

Mindworks was founded in 2003, acquired by Atcom in 2009, and became an independent company again in January 2015.

As a division of Atcom, in the financial year ending December 2014, Mindworks had revenues of EURO 7.3 million. Mindworks has about 60 employees.

Mindworks – to be renamed Isobar-iProspect Advertising Services SA

Mindworks will be renamed Isobar-iProspect Advertising Services SA, and will be integrated into Dentsu’s global Isobar and iProspect brands, representing Isobar’s and iProspect’s entry into Greece’s markets.

Dentsu and Dentsu-Aegis

Dentsu dominates Japan’s advertising space, and is a very very strong force in Japan’s media industry sector, through control and management of major advertising channels with an overwhelming market share in Japan, and has been working hard to leverage its creative power and strength in Japan into a larger global footprint.

A big step forward towards a larger global footprint for Dentsu was the acquisition of the London based Aegis Group, announced on July 5, 2012.

Report on Japan’s media landscape (150 pages, pdf file):
[buy][more information][preview on slideshare]

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