WHO: Hiroshi Maruta, 44
WHAT: Manager, assets management group, finance department
WHERE: Hitachi Ltd., Tokyo
WHEN: Joined Hitachi in 1978 after graduating from Hitotsubashi University with a degree in economics. Spent career mainly in accounting; currently doubles as fund manager for Hitachi's corporate pension fund.
WHY: Influential in pension community. Has led an aggressive push by Hitachi to modernize pension fund asset management that made the company the first in Japan to be freed from the former 5-3-3-2 rule. Role as head of the finance subcommittee of Keidanren (the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations) makes him a key opinion leader on pension issues in Japan.
"Mr. Maruta serves as Keidanren point man on pension affairs, and his work in this field has made his one of the most influential voices in this field within Japan," said Yoshinobu Kono, vice president, Pension Services Group, Goldman Sachs (Japan).
"Mr. Maruta's work at Hitachi shows him to be one of the few Japanese pension asset managers who understands the problems and what must be done to correct them, so his opinion on issues like defined contribution plans and investment diversification get close attention," said Masanori Tsuno, president, Frank Russell Japan.