Davis Polk partner Ken Lebrun was quoted in a Financial Times article discussing increased interest from Japanese companies and banks to expand into the U.S. market.

A number of Japanese banks have acquired or taken stakes in U.S. banks. Ken explains that Japanese banks want a bigger chunk of the general investment banking fee pool for grabs in the U.S. market, the world’s largest.

The banks are also positioning themselves for the expected longer-term trend of Japanese companies buying overseas. “Japanese companies have an increasingly favourable view of M&A, and certainly many CEOs now think that this is a more important aspect of their business,” said Ken. “Everyone . . . recognised that there has historically been a problem with low corporate metabolism and low return on investment at Japanese companies, and that the solution is to promote more M&A.”

Corporate Japan back in the hunt for US deals,” Financial Times (July 12, 2023) (subscription required)