Japan banking: Flowers’ 20-year journey in and out of Shinsei
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Japan banking: Flowers’ 20-year journey in and out of Shinsei

The purchase of Long-Term Credit Bank by JC Flowers and Ripplewood in 2000, creating Shinsei Bank, was a landmark for foreign participation in Japanese banking. Chris Flowers exited most of his holding this year and reflects on what he learned over two decades.


One of the most striking transactions in Japanese banking history took place in 2000 when a failed institution, Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, was bought by two foreign private equity groups, JC Flowers and Ripplewood, making it the first Japanese lender ever to be owned by foreign investors. 

It became Shinsei, and that deal’s influence is still felt today.

JC Flowers & Co was founded in 1998 by J Christopher Flowers, who is still managing director and chief executive. He had spent the previous 19 years at Goldman Sachs. Flowers started in M&A and was one of the founders of Goldman’s financial institutions group in 1986. 

“I had left Goldman Sachs and was looking for opportunities in the field of financial services,” Flowers tells Euromoney. “I was following the travails of LTCB and I thought to myself: ‘This looks interesting’.”

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