Executive Interviews

Executive Interviews

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Executive Interviews

Messages from Outside Directors

I will perform a supervisory function to support sustainable growth.

平野 和久

Outside Director and
Audit/Supervisory Committee Member (Full-time)

Kazuhisa Hirano

Further Invigorating the Board of Directors

I joined SINANEN HOLDINGS CO., LTD. as an outside director in June 2020. As the full-time Audit/Supervisory Committee Member, I come in to work every day and also serve as a parttime corporate auditor at each of four operating companies. I have been working to collect information from across the Group by interviewing the presidents and executives of the various companies and accompanying auditors to on-site audits.

Before taking up the position of outside director, I had many years of experience at foreign-affiliated companies from Europe and the United States. Naturally, I expected there to be some differences at the SINANEN HOLDINGS Group, which has a long history, but in fact when I joined, I did not feel much out of place. While promoting corporate culture reform, President Yamazaki told us that he wanted us to voice our opinions freely without any hesitation. One of the things that I actually proposed had to do with the effectiveness of the Board of Directors at the operating companies. I felt that the Board of Directors meetings at some of the operating companies were completely focused on the monthly report, when in fact board meetings should be a forum for substantive discussion of issues and what should be done to address them. When I expressed this opinion at a meeting of the Board of Directors at SINANEN HOLDINGS, President Yamazaki immediately gave me instructions about addressing the situation, and some improvements have already been made.

Over the past few years, people with extensive experience have joined the Company as outside directors, and I believe our discussions have become deeper. The outside directors with management experience at foreign-affiliated companies offer practical advice from the perspective of business strategy, and the outside directors with experience in government and media advise on how the Company should respond to changes in public awareness, such as interest in the SDGs. Meanwhile, the legal experts advise on legal risks in business operations. As I mentioned at the beginning, while working to gather information as the full-time Audit/Supervisory Committee Member, I try to express my opinions based on specific incidents and communicate plenty of information to the part-time members. To ensure that the information is not based only on my own biases, I also provide opportunities for them to receive.direct explanations of important matters from executive officers. In recent years, the outside directors have had opportunities to receive direct explanations when the Company was considering withdrawing from the overseas large-scale wind power generation business and when it was formulating the Third Medium-Term Management Plan. In fact, we had some robust opinions on the draft of the Third Medium-Term Management Plan, and there was even a sense of tension in the discussion at the Board of Directors meetings. The outside board members have seen many examples from outside the Company, so it was very productive to discuss questions such as whether the goals of the Third Medium-Term Management Plan were clear and whether the details should be communicated to the outside world.

Supporting Challenge-Taking with Healthy Skepticism

In terms of the measures in the Third Medium-Term Management Plan, I am focusing in particular on strengthening group governance, and reinforcing the risk management system to achieve that. As the Group grew as a comprehensive energy service provider, some aspects of the risk management system were undeveloped precisely because there were many trusted, well-established suppliers. Yet, over the years, the Group's business portfolio has changed a lot. This includes the switch from being a solid fuel manufacturer to being an oil, gas, and electricity wholesaler and retailer, and, in recent years, working on business diversification and decarbonization initiatives. In light of all this change, it is essential to reinforce the risk management system so the Group can keep moving forward. The role of Audit/Supervisory Committee members is to support, rather than to restrain, the Group's challenge-taking, and to perform the function of supervising the executive directors by providing advice and recommendations when a change of course is needed. We try to listen with healthy skepticism. Also, we may sometimes be able to make calm judgments from a panoramic perspective, simply because we are outside directors.

In fiscal 2023, Yuichiro Munakata, who worked at audit firms for many years, joined us as a new outside director. As a result, a majority (five) of the nine directors are now outside directors, and adequate supervision has been established. Going forward, in addition to considering shareholder interests, I will work to ensure that the Group meets social needs while remaining a place where people are proud to work.

Message from the Newly Appointed Outside Director

I will contribute to the transformation of the Group by fulfilling effective monitoring and advisory functions, taking advantage of my experience at global corporations.

宗像 雄一郎

Outside Director and
Audit/Supervisory Committee Member

Yuichiro Munakata

I sense the potential for future growth and social contribution in the SINANEN HOLDINGS Group's long history as well as its vision of "evolving into a comprehensive energy service provider that helps build a carbon-free world and supports innovative living." Faced with the major social challenge of building a carbon-free world, I identify strongly with the Group's commitment to transform itself by clearly setting financial and non-financial targets in the Third Medium-Term Management Plan, executing a growth strategy, and reinforcing the management foundation in the business areas of energy, housing, and lifestyle.

To help achieve this vision, my role at the Company is to fulfill effective monitoring and advisory functions in areas such as business management, compliance, new investments, overseas expansion, and ESG from the perspectives of accounting, finance, and risk management. In doing so, I will take advantage of my many years of auditing and advisory experience at global companies, my international experience, and my corporate management experience, while engaging in active discussions with inside and outside officers and employees.

As the Group integrates new technologies and comprehensive energy, housing, and lifestyle services I hope it responds flexibly to the changing times with an awareness of social issues, so it can help people to build affluent, comfortable lives and ultimately contribute to a sustainable world. With this approach, I expect the Group to achieve further advances and breakthroughs, and I myself will help make sure this happens.