WI Harper Names Takenaka to Advisory Board

WI Harper Group, a Chinese venture capital firm, has added economist Heizo Takenaka to its advisory board. Takenaka is Japan’s former minister of state for financial services. At WI Harper, Takenaka will advise on global financial trends, emerging technologies, and international business opportunities, the firm said. WI Harper focuses on investments in technologies including clean technology and healthcare.

WI Harper Group, a leading Chinese early growth and expansion stage venture capital firm, today announced Mr. Heizo Takenaka, an internationally renowned Japanese economist and former politician, has joined its advisory board. In 2002, Mr. Takenaka, as Japan’s Minister of State for Financial Services, authored the Takenaka Plan, which successfully ended Japan’s banking crisis.

Joining an illustrious panel of advisors led by Innovation Works’ founder Kai-Fu Lee, Heizo Takenaka offers WI Harper his counsel on global financial trends, emerging technologies, and international business opportunities. WI Harper focuses its investment portfolio on global business opportunities in innovative technology, clean technology and healthcare.

“For over two decades, WI Harper’s visionary investment strategy has built bridges and fostered cooperation between businesses in Asia and the United States as well as increased the adoption of new technologies,” said Peter Liu, Founder and Chairman of WI Harper. “It is an honor to have the support of Heizo Takenaka as an advisor. With his detailed knowledge of international and Asian economies, Takenaka’s expertise will be invaluable in helping guide our decisions and drive the growth of our portfolio.”

Peter Liu added, “As most of the world looks to Asia to lead us out of the global recession, there will continue to be a plethora of interesting investment opportunities.”

“Mr. Takenaka’s big-picture view of the global economy brings the advisory board a deeper understanding of where business is headed in China and the U.S.,” said Kai-Fu Lee, chairman of the WI Harper Advisory Board. “His experience as an internationally respected problem solver and business liaison offers WI Harper new ideas, new investment strategies, and introductions across both regions.”


Heizo Takenaka
Heizo Takenaka is on the faculty of Policy Management and a director of the Global Security Research Institute at Keio University in Japan. Takenaka was selected by Japan’s Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi to become the Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy in 2001. In this capacity, Takenaka became one of the most prominent voices in the ongoing debate over the privatization and breakup of Japan Post. He also served as Japan’s Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications (2005-2006).

Takenaka currently serves on several advisory boards and committees. He is a Senior Research Fellow, Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER); Director, Academyhills and Chairman, Pasona Group Inc., and he was named to the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum in 2007.

Mr. Takenaka’s research interest is in economic policy. Takenaka started his academic career in 1981 as a visiting scholar at both Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania. His academic experience includes: Senior Economist, Institute of Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Japanese Ministry of Finance (1982); Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics, Osaka University (1987); Visiting Associate Professor, Harvard University (1989); Visiting Fellow, Institute of International Economics (1989); and Associate Professor (1990) and Professor, Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University (1996). Takenaka was named a member of the Economic Strategy Council (advisory board for economic policy to the Prime Minister) in 1998 and a member of the IT Strategy Council (advisory board on IT policy to the Prime Minister) in 2000.

Mr. Takenaka received his B.A. in economics from Hitotsubashi University and his Ph.D in economics from Osaka University. He is the author of numerous books, including “Contemporary Japanese Economy and Economic Policy” (1991), “Prospects of the Japanese Economy for the 21st Century” (1993), “The Internationalization of the Japanese Economy and Corporate Investment” (1993), “Wealth of People” (1994), “The Economy in which Fast Movers Win” (1998), “Policy Crisis and the Japanese Economy – A Search for the Causes of the Economic Slowdown in the 1990s” (2001) and “The Structural Reforms of the Koizumi Cabinet” (2008).

About WI Harper
Founded in 1993, WI Harper Group is an expansion and early growth stage investment firm that focuses on companies with significant operations in China and aspirations to become global leaders. We are an active partner with a track record of over 100 investments in the technology, clean technology and health care sectors. The firm manages $500 million in capital from our offices in Beijing, Taipei and San Francisco. www.wiharper.com