Fund management at Recruit Holdings is mainly carried out by two teams. One is the Japan and Asia Treasury Management Team in Tokyo, which is primarily in charge of Japanese and some Asian fund management, while the other, Recruit Global Treasury Services (RGTS) based in London, which handles overseas fund management. I worked in RGTS up until last year for a period of about three years and was in charge of introduction and operation of the Treasury Management System (TMS). I returned to Japan in February 2022, and, as a member of the Japan and Asia Treasury Management Team, I support the business operations in constant collaboration with domestic business companies including Recruit Co., Ltd., in addition to being in charge of public relations activities targeting financial institutions and rating agencies as part of corporate finance operations.
The role of treasury is to deliver, without a hitch, the funds necessary for stable operations and growth of the business. Currently, while there is sufficient pooling of cash, we cannot deny the possibility of the business environment worsening in the face of future international circumstances and state of the global economy. It is necessary to procure funds for making investment or carrying out M&As for further growth. Such tight circumstances will require much faster fund procurement at lower costs. The company, in particular, has received great support from financial institutions over the course of its long history. Taking that also into account, along with building good relationships with both domestic and overseas financial institutions, I am carrying out public relations activities so that rating agencies have proper understanding of the current financial situation and future outlook.
In addition to this more routine work, I am also participating in the Smart Treasury Project, which is engaged in financial foundational reforms from a mid- to long-term perspective. Recruit Group, after its initial public offering, has been pursuing globalization with a focus on M&A. As a result, the number of business companies has been increasing significantly compared to before. So far, the company has been going forward with building its foundation as a global corporation by establishing a treasury company in London, introducing TMS, and building a community for people in charge of finance at various group companies. However, each company has their own way of doing things with respect to their business systems and processes, and they have not been standardized. Due to this, collecting the entire group’s information is quite an arduous and cumbersome task, and with the business continuously expanding I fear it will become increasingly more complex. At the same time, the progress in technology has been remarkable even in the world of treasury, with Smart Treasury, which leverages IT and AI, becoming a hot topic primarily in Europe and the US. Now that the financial situation has begun to stabilize and the foundation as a global corporation has been established, it is certainly a great opportunity for the group to take on the challenge of comprehensively streamlining these operations by leveraging the latest technology. I am working on the realization of a Recruit-style Smart Treasury system bearing in mind future utilization of new technology such as virtual accounts and cryptocurrencies.
I joined the Company right out of university, and I did not have any clear idea as to what I wanted to do, but first and foremost I just wanted to work with superiors whom I could respect. Career building is said to have two line of thoughts—one where the person sets a goal and works towards it in steps, which is the mountain-climbing type, and one where the person goes with the flow and finds a goal while carrying out the job in front of him, which is the going-downriver type. In my case, I safely opted for the going-downriver type. I was initially posted in accounting, and when I thought I had finally learned the actual operations over the course of three years, I was transferred to the Consolidated Group. In an environment surrounded by seniors who all were certified public accountants, I learned consolidated accounting settlement operations from scratch. Around the time I began feeling that I was able to handle more and more, I moved to the treasury. Not only that, shortly after the transfer, I was offered the challenging opportunity to take up a new post in London, despite being not very good at English.
Initially when I was transferred to the treasury, I had no idea even how to transfer money, so you can guess how much I struggled in London. Surrounded by seniors with vast expertise, I spent every day asking myself what value I could bring to that team. Even then, since there was a set agenda to work with, I slowly started understanding the content of my job, my relationship with the seniors began to improve, and what I could handle also increased gradually. My experience in London turned out to be a major confidence booster, and I consider it to be a turning point in my career.
Looking back at the nine years after joining the Company, I feel I have been raised with the guidance of my various superiors as well as the judgments made by the company. Looking at each and every person individually and offering the next great chance for growth at the perfect timing is a strength that is unique to Recruit, as Recruit is a company that invests in people. Furthermore, as the global headquarters, there are many opportunities to launch various projects that cut across the organization and is possible with collaboration, cooperation and extending beyond the borders of one’s department or country. So, I believe it is the best environment for those who want to broaden their possibilities in a global and dynamic environment. In terms of work environment also, the infrastructure is well-developed, and as for human resources, it is a highly stimulating work place that has interesting people. It would be great if people who can take on new challenges by involving others while being passionate about their work, and without limiting one's specialization, join the team and grow together with us.
I was appointed as the leader of the Japan and Asia Treasury Management Team this June. Until now, I had been thinking only of working under superiors and seniors who I had great respect for, and the assignment as a leader is such a major challenge. My manager told me, “Up until now, you needed only to deliver results on your own, but from now on, you will have to always bear in mind how to create value as a team.” Now I am in a position to offer the experience I gained from others nurturing me so far to the members of my team, which is a sobering thought. I would like to create a team where the members would be able to proactively take on challenges by using the ideas or points shared by the various members of the team, regardless of the age or the person’s position.
Recruit Holdings is right now in the evolutionary phase. I feel that I am called upon to take on the challenge of changing things that need to be changed based on my own decision-making. The defensive part of accounting and treasury jobs, which is to implement stable operations without mistakes, is very important, though it is easy to become passive about it. However, we will make no progress by focusing only on error-free operations. Along with respecting what has been built up by our predecessors, I believe it is necessary to be brave and break down things and rebuild if there is such a need. Up until now, Recruit has been known for its strong sales, but I would like to change this so that when people think of a company with a strong corporate setup, they think of Recruit Holdings. With this goal in mind, I would like to do a job, which, when I look back at it ten years from now, people would say that was a big game-changing challenge.