Ex-Goldman’s Kathy Matsui Starts ESG Venture Capital Fund

Kathy Matsui, former vice chair of Goldman Sachs Japan, launched a venture capital fund to help startups enhance environmental, social and governance values.

MPower Partners Fund will focus on investing in growth- to late-stage Japanese startups, with the rest going into earlier-stage firms overseas in areas like healthcare, fintech and sustainability, according to a statement Monday. The fund’s investors so far include Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co., Sompo Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Group, and it aims to attract $150 million in capital commitments.

Matsui retired at the end of last year from Goldman Sachs, where she was known for her so-called womenomics research that influenced government policy on female labor participation.

Matsui is a general partner in the fund, along with Yumiko Murakami, a former head of the OECD Tokyo Centre who spent 20 years working for Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, and Miwa Seki, who teaches at a university after a career in portfolio management and investment banking. Eriko Suzuki, who has worked for Morgan Stanley and UBS Securities, serves as managing director.

The fund’s external advisers include Fast Retailing Co. CEO Tadashi Yanai and Mark Schwartz, former vice chairman of Goldman, according to the fund’s website.

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