Profile

K. Bessho

Managing Director, Investment Banking

Mr. Bessho is Head of the Mergers & Acquisitions Advisory Group in Japan since June 2012. He joined Morgan Stanley in 2002. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he worked at Corporate Finance Group of one of the largest global accounting firms, where he focused on execution of M&A projects. Before joining the accounting firm, he worked at a major Japanese commercial bank. He holds a BA in economics from Keio University as well as a US CPA (State of Illinois).

Describe your current role at the firm and your responsibilities.

As a joint venture between Morgan Stanley and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), we are uniquely positioned to differentiate ourselves. It’s my responsibility to deliver our strong franchise to key clients by “connecting the dots.” For example, I closely work with my colleagues in New York, London and Hong Kong to provide Morgan Stanley global insight and experience with our Japanese corporate clients. At the same time, I co-work with MUFG members to provide real insights with Morgan Stanley global clients and to facilitate connections based on MUFG’s strong corporate network in Japan. 

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your work?

On every M&A project there is never a single right answer. Every project has different aspects and every banker takes a different approach. But at the same time our experience, knowledge and judgment are what really matters. I feel a real sense of achievement when I’m able to deliver a successful outcome to our clients and more importantly when a result leads to another mandate based on trust created between us and the client.   

How would you describe the firm's culture?

I would say fairness and transparency are at the core of our culture. We are encouraged to “speak up” regardless of one’s corporate title. All of us share the firm’s common values and make every effort to embody these during the course of day-to-day business. “Putting Clients First,” “Doing the Right Thing,” “Leading with Exceptional Ideas” and “Giving Back.” These are not superficial words. Every time we face issues we refer to these points to help us come up with the most appropriate solution.  

How does the uniqueness of your approach bring value to your team?

Our team consists of individuals from various backgrounds. Each banker can leverage their own expertise in order to differentiate themselves and deliver values to clients. Thanks to our strong business pipeline, every banker comes across transformational situations which can help each individual to accumulate a multitude of experience.

Tell us about the importance of “Giving Back”- both at the firm and for you personally.

It’s absolutely vital. No one can reach their true potential without the help of others. I’ve learned a lot from my mentors and I’m still learning a lot from colleagues, including our junior bankers. This also applies to life outside of the firm. I have acted as a coach for a local kids’ baseball team as well as my varsity baseball club. For me, it is always fun to see kids and university students striving to accomplish something. I’ve truly learned a lot from these experiences. 

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