Want to change something on this page or create your own? Register today, it's fast and free!
In September 1998, about an hour before Yashiro's flight from New York to Tokyo touched down, a stranger in seat 1C turned to him and struck up a conversation. The man asked the standard small-talk questions, to which Yashiro offered polite replies: he had worked a long time in the oil business, he said, and then in banking, and was now retired and living in London. Suddenly the man exclaimed, "You must be Masamoto Yashiro! I have been looking for you everywhere!" The man excitedly introduced himself as Tim Collins, the head of Ripplewood, a U.S. investment firm that specialized in restructuring distressed companies. Ripplewood, Collins explained, had just begun to explore investing in businesses recovering from Japan's great asset crash. He was engaged in a crusade to help turn around Japan Inc. and, he said, a number of people had told him that Yashiro was the perfect person to join him on this mission. [+]