The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star
Wilbur L. Ross, Jr.
Chairman, Japan Society
Mr. Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of WL Ross & Co. LLC, has been serving as Chairman of the Board of New York's Japan Society since 2010. Japan Society is considered one of the most influential Japan-related organizations in New York and Mr. Ross has been on its Board of Directors since 2005. Since he assumed the post of Chairman, he has transformed the organization. He significantly increased revenues by improving the quality of its programs, increasing membership and raising funds from sponsors. At Japan Society, he also administered strict cost-cutting measures, strengthened its balance sheet, and upgraded the status of its Board. His full support is evident through substantial personal donations to the organization and also through the introduction of renowned speakers, potential donors and prominent members to the Board of Directors utilizing his vast personal networks of American business and cultural leaders. Owing greatly to Mr. Ross, Jr.'s contributions and efforts, the programs, lectures and exhibitions which Japan Society offers maintain a high quality and standard, and coverage by the media has improved drastically.
For many years, Mr. Ross has also promoted the strengthening and enhancement of the Japanese economy. His firm has been investing in Japan since 1997, most notably when it purchased the failed Kofuku Bank in Osaka, restructured it and ultimately successfully merged it with the Kansai affiliate of Sumitomo Mitsui Bank. Instead of looking for short-term gains, it invests in leading medium-sized firms which are facing management and financial troubles despite their high quality technological capabilities. Mr. Ross' firm builds strong business relationships based on trust, encourages and promotes improvement of management, and thus resulting in capital gains. This approach enables Japanese companies to more quickly advance innovations in management, hence contributing to the strengthening of the Japanese economy as a whole.
Moreover, right after the Great East Japan Earthquake, Mr. Ross immediately delivered a positive message that Japan's economy would recover, which effectively encouraged investors from both Japan and the U.S. to place confidence in the Japanese economy. He also personally set up a relief fund for the Great East Japan Earthquake, and collected nearly $14 million U.S. dollars in donations which was distributed to the affected areas.