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Message from Top Management

To Realize a Sustainable Growth Along with the Society

As environmental issues such as climate change and resource scarcity, along with human rights issues, economic inequality, food availability and other social issues increasingly manifest, the ESG (environment, social and governance)-oriented style of business management is recently drawing attention, interests and expectations of society. In 2015, the United Nations adopted the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), a set of international goals to be achieved by 2030. Businesses are expected to, through their business activities, contribute to the resolution of social issues and the realization of a sustainable society.

With that in mind, the SBI Group has established its Basic Sustainability Principles which apply to the entire Group. In accordance with the Basic Sustainability Principles, the Group has established the Sustainability Committee to discuss, determine and manage sustainability measures as part of the Group's business strategy. The measures are introduced and promoted throughout the Group via the Sustainability Promotion Office, the administrative office of the Sustainability Committee.

SBI Group's universal philosophy of management

Since its founding, the SBI Group has conducted activities that benefit a wide range of stakeholders, including consumers and society, grounded on its adherence to the "Customer-centric Principle" and the idea that public benefit leads to private benefit. Consequently, the Group has evolved by implementing these ideas in the knowledge that such activities are also for the Company's benefit. There may be companies that might develop with a temporary profit, but basically, a business would not be able to survive in the long term if it is not a "virtuous business." A sustainable company is one that works for the public good, which is exactly in line with the concept of ESG management mentioned earlier.

A good example is our commitment to regional revitalization. Achieving regional revitalization is a national goal and it is indispensable for the sustainable growth of the Japanese economy. The SBI Group has supported regional financial institutions encountering severe business climate to solve problems facing them and improve their profitability. By approaching all of the four major economic entities, regional financial institutions, local people, local industries and local public organizations, we directly and indirectly contribute to regional economies and regional revitalization. I believe that only the SBI Group can make these measures possible because it has a vast network encompassing various companies of different industries, including startup companies, in addition to diverse financial products, services and expertise.

Human virtue for people, corporate virtue for corporations

At the root of the SBI Group's efforts is "corporate virtue." Since I graduated from university and entered the world of business, I have constantly asked myself what a company should be. At some point I found myself thinking that just as there is human virtue for people, there is a "corporate virtue" for corporations. If the company goes against social justice or equity, it would obviously be punished by society. At the same time, if you do the right things in your core business, you will find your profits increasing. The source of profitability is justice. In other words, profit comes from righteous deeds. As like a person whose deeds are righteous can be trusted, a company that conducts its business rightly is capable of succeeding in the business and consequently enhancing its corporate virtue.

Principles of trust, duty and compassion are inherited

Then, what is the corporate personality, the corporate virtue that the SBI Group pursues? In the SBI Group, corporate personality is embodied as "trust," "duty" and "compassion," which are also my own ethical values as a business manager. "Trust" means not doing anything that would cause you to lose the trust of people and society. "Duty" means doing the right thing. And "compassion" means comprehending things from the perspective of others. You should not be content with only gaining profits, but keep contemplating about whether you are doing the right thing in terms of social justice. One must always base one's decisions on the three ethical values. This mindset is reflected in the many different operations of the SBI Group, and it has taken root in the SBI Group's direct social engagement activities.

Importance of having sound ethical values

Whether one is running an organization, managing a company, or constructing a business, all of it is contingent on human behavior. In that sense, the ethical value of every executives and employees are essential in increasing the corporate virtue. In the coming era when value will be shaped by the Internet, and particularly by digital assets that have no shape or form, we will no doubt need to make more judgments than ever before based on sound ethical values.

Based on sound ethical values, the SBI Group will continue to seek solutions to social issues in many different ways and will endeavor to achieve a sustainable society and grow together with society.

Yoshitaka Kitao
Representative Director, Chairman, President & CEO
SBI Holdings, Inc.