Japanese banks bid to lure foreign talent by promotion to senior roles

Tokyo Working

Japan’s biggest banks are breaking tradition by promoting foreigners to top management roles to retain and lure overseas talent as growth abroad buoys profit.

Bloomberg News reports that in July, Debra Hazelton became the first foreign general manager at Mizuho Financial Group's Tokyo headquarters, where she leads a new department to manage global staff. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group’s lending arm promoted two foreigners to executive officer in April, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s banking unit appointed its first non-Japanese executive officer last year.

The so-called megabanks are giving foreign staff more responsibility as they expand overseas operations and hiring to spur earnings that are hampered by low interest rates and tepid loan demand at home. The three lenders now get about a third of their profit from abroad, where they increased loans and spent at least $14 billion on acquisitions over the past five years.

'Japanese megabanks will only get more dependent on overseas businesses,' said Yoshinobu Yamada, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in Tokyo. 'They’re opening their doors for people hired overseas to get promoted anywhere in the organization.'

Hit the link below to access the complete Bloomberg News article:

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