One man watched the TV pictures of a blubbing Yamaichi Securities’
president Shohei Nozawa with rather more amazement than the rest of
For the collapse of the massive Japanese investment house ruined the
weekend of Ronald Hepburn, along with many Japanese investors.
Hepburn joined College Hill last month from Yamaichi, where he was
director of corporate affairs, so he knew his clients needs inside out.
He was on his way home on the Friday night when the storm broke. Sitting
on the train at London Bridge Hepburn’s mobile went and he rushed backed
to the office, where he stayed until 2am.
The deluge of calls was made worse for Hepburn because Yamaichi’s
in-house press officer Rob Davis was holidaying in Barcelona and
couldn’t get back in time.
Rugby fanatic Hepburn nobly missed an All Blacks game on the Saturday to
man the phones, but the fun really began on Sunday. Hepburn slaved over
a hot phone from 10am until 4am.
So, time for Hepburn to get a bit of shut eye? Not a bit. He sat down
and drafted a speech for the chairman at 5.30am and then got to work on
press releases to go out by 7.30 am.
And his feelings after 42 hours without sleep? ’We did the right job,’
he says rather modestly.
So right that a number of US investment banks are thought to be
considering bids for various parts of Yamaichi.