April 26, 2018 / 9:28 AM / 25 days ago

SoftBank poaches Japan Post Bank's investment chief for its board

TOKYO (Reuters) - SoftBank Group said Katsunori Sago, currently Japan Post Bank Co’s chief investment officer, would join its board - an appointment that comes as it transforms itself into one of the world’s largest technology investors.

Japan Post Bank Chief Investment Officer Katsunori Sago speaks during an interview for the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit in Tokyo, Japan November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has made a rapid-fire string of investment deals, much of it through the Vision Fund, the world’s largest private equity fund.

“Sago’s rich experience as a manager can help enhance our corporate value,” a SoftBank spokeswoman said.

Sago, 50, joined Japan Post Bank in 2015 and was tasked with revamping the management of its $1.9 trillion investment portfolio amid ultra-low interest rates.

Under Sago, it diversified into riskier but higher-return investment such as private equity, real estate and hedge funds. The postal bank’s alternative assets have climbed to be worth 1.27 trillion yen as of end December, more than double levels at the end of March 2017.

The bank confirmed that he would step down.

SoftBank said in a statement that Sago’s appointment to the board will be put to vote at its annual shareholders meeting on June 20.

Sago was previously vice chairman of Goldman Sachs Japan and has also been head of its securities division. He also did a stint as an advisor to Japan’s Financial Services Agency.

($1 = 109.2900 yen)

Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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