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Doing Business with the Japanese
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Doing Business with the Japanese


When: Thursday, February 1, 2018
From 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation SMBC
277 Park Avenue, 6th floor
(Between 47th and 48th Streets)
New York, New York  10172
United States

Registration Information
Online registration is closed.

Doing Business with the Japanese


The FWA is proud to present a special opportunity to learn about Japan’s business culture and etiquette and its role in the global economy. Open to all FWA members and non-member guests. Highly recommended for those attending the Japan Conference in Tokyo in April.

All companies have their unique challenges but working for a Japanese company comes with over a 1000 years of culture and collective values. Navigating a Japanese company for the Americans can be tricky if not frustrating unless you understand the nuances to combing the best of both cultures. At a time when Japan is investing in the U.S., there is more need for innovation, diversity, and the understanding of how to leverage an ever changing workforce.

Have you ever wondered how Japanese culture has driven social protocols that still exist to this day? Then get ready to find out. You will hear a brief introduction to some major differences in cultural style that influence the way business is done in the United States and Japan, followed by a business etiquette section where participants will learn how to handle important aspects of Japanese business culture such as business card exchange, meeting style, and socializing for the workplace.

The panel discussion will address the nuances of working for a Japanese company from executives who live this reality daily. Learn from real world examples and experience on blending two dynamic cultures into an inclusive and top performing environment.



  • Natural communication styles between the two cultures
  • Organizational interactions
  • Individual producers and collective performance
  • Dealing with peers from different cultures and backgrounds
  • How interactions with clients differ
  • Challenges and how to overcome them



Mike Sebring - Moderator
Director, Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Americas Division, SMBC

Mike oversees the firm’s inclusion and diversity function and strategy. This new position for SMBC in the Americas Division collaborates with senior management and key stakeholders to frame and articulate an inclusion vision, strategy, and goals including governance and policy creation. Mike is responsible for providing thought leadership on critical inclusion and diversity issues and trends, gathering best practices from external organizations and events, driving the collection, analysis, and bench marking of internal/external data, promoting SMBC's reputation as an employer of choice, and overseeing the Bank's Enterprise Resource Group program. In his role, Mike partners with all levels of the organization including HR Business Partners, Learning and Development professionals, business line leaders, Talent Development, Total Rewards, Risk, and Legal to overlay an inclusion and diversity lens across all human capital initiatives. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University and holds a six- sigma green belt certification. He currently resides with his husband in New York City, New York.


Michelle Petropoulos
Managing Director, Group Head, North America Equity Capital Markets, SMBC Nikko Securities America, Inc.

Michelle Petropoulos has more than 30 years of experience in equity capital markets and equity syndication. Michelle joined SMBC Nikko in September 2014 as a Managing Director and Head of Equity Capital Markets. In this role, she is responsible for the implementation of the US equity capital markets business (ECM), which includes building a team of industry professionals and introducing new products. In her role, she is also responsible for the syndication of Japanese equity offerings to North American investors. Prior to joining SMBC Nikko, Michelle held similar roles at Mizuho Securities USA, The Williams Capital Group, and Nomura Securities International. She has worked on many high-profile global equity offerings. Michelle is a founding member of the Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN) at the Bank and is one of the co-chairs for the network’s Mentoring Committee, which has been responsible for implementing the first formal mentoring program for SMBC in the Americas Division.


Jeff Zavattero
Managing Director, Group Head, Fixed Income Sales and Trading, SMBC Nikko Securities America, Inc.

Jeff Zavattero is Head of Fixed Income Sales and Trading for SMBC Nikko Securities America, Inc. Jeff held senior management positions in fixed income sales and trading over the last 20 years at Bankers Trust/Deutsche, Bear Stearns, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, and Natixis prior to joining SMBC Nikko in September 2015. Through 1995, Jeff spent three years in rates sales and structuring and two years as an equity research analyst. Jeff worked for AT&T for two years upon graduating from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988. Jeff was born in Tokyo and lived in Japan until he was 16 years old. After graduating from college, Jeff worked in Tokyo for another 16 years, 14 of which were with non-Japanese firms.

Mika Kono
Managing Director and Joint General Manager, Head of Internal Audit Department, SMBC

Mika Kono joined The Sumitomo Bank in 1987. She has worked in several departments at the Bank, including our international Financial Institution Group (FIG), Planning Department, and SMBC Capital Markets. Mika is an expatriate staff member and has held highly-visible positions with the Bank throughout her career. She is a Managing Director and Joint General Manager and heads the Bank’s Internal Audit Department, which is based in New York. Mika received a Bachelor's Degree from International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. She is married, with two children.

James Weinstein
Managing Director, Co-Head of US Corporate Banking, SMBC

Jim Weinstein is in his 26th year at SMBC and has spent his career at the Bank working on project and corporate finance transactions in the energy and infrastructure sectors. He was named a Managing Director in 2011. Jim became head of the Project Finance Department in 1997 and the Energy and Natural Resources Department in 2005. He opened SMBC’s Houston office in 2006 to focus on all areas of the energy business. This office is active in lending to integrated oil companies, Master Limited Partnerships (MLP), exploration & production companies, reserve based lending (RBL), and other oil & gas related businesses. In 2015, Jim was named General Manager and Co-Head of US Corporate Banking. US Corporate Banking has existing business relationships with more than 300 customers across all major industry verticals, including Aerospace & Defense, Auto & Industrials, Chemicals & Materials, Consumer & Retail, Healthcare, Media Telecom & Technology (MTT), and Energy and Utilities. In size of commitments, US Corporate Banking has portfolio management responsibility for over $50 billion of outstanding and committed facilities. Prior to joining SMBC, Jim spent three years as an Associate at Bankers Trust Company/BT Securities Corp. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia Business School in 1988.

Margaret Gleason
Managing Director and Joint General Manager, Treasury Operations, SMBC

Margaret (Peggy) Gleason joined Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) in February 1984 as an Administrative Assistant in the Bank’s Business Promotions department. Peggy’s career progressed as she assumed new roles and took on increased responsibilities through the years, including as a Money Markets Senior Clerk, a Foreign Exchange Assistant Manager and then Manager, followed by an assignment as a Money Markets Derivatives Vice President and Manager. Peggy is the group leader of the Bank’s Treasury Operations area and is currently a Managing Director and Joint General Manager. During her tenure at SMBC, Peggy had the extraordinary opportunity to live in Tokyo for six months in 1990 to 1991. She was a Trainee at Jimu-kan-ribu, the Overseas Operations area at Sumitomo Tokyo Head Office where she wrote illustrated procedure manuals in English. Peggy spent one month in Tokyo as part of the organization’s annual overseas assignment programs. Peggy is one of the founding members and is the current Co-Chair of the Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN) at SMBC for the Americas Division. She holds a Masters of Arts from Bowling Green State University (Ohio). Peggy lives in Yorktown Heights, New York with her husband, Gerard.




Regina Shapiro
Vice President, Culture and Language Program Manager, MUFG Americas

Regina Shapiro was born in the US and grew up in Japan in a bilingual household with a Japanese mother and American father. She has worked in both Japanese and US business environments in various fields such as sales, marketing, international relations, and PR, but realized eventually that teaching was her true passion and calling. She has extensive experience in early childhood education and ESL instruction. She joined MUFG in 2012, where she has been able to bring together her cross-cultural experiences and education background in her role as program manager for culture and language initiatives. She enjoys creating programs to promote language proficiency and create cross-cultural understanding in the workplace.

Keiko Honda
Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)

Keiko Honda is Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group. MIGA supports cross-border equity investors and lenders by providing coverage against currency inconvertibility and transfer restriction, expropriation, war and civil disturbance, breach of contract, and non-honoring of financial obligations.Keiko works to further the World Bank Group’s mission of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. To that end, MIGA’s portfolio supports investments in regions where capital is most scarce. MIGA is now the leading political risk insurance provider in fragile and conflict affected countries. As part of a personal commitment to raising the visibility of female leaders, Keiko launched MIGA’s first Gender CEO Award in 2016, an award that acknowledges the achievements of a woman leader among MIGA’s clients, and showcases the importance of women in leading and spurring private sector activity in developing countries. Before joining MIGA, she was the first woman senior partner in Asia at McKinsey & Company, where she advised financial institutions on corporate finance and strategy, and business development. Keiko also served as a visiting associate professor at Hitotsubashi University Graduate School and as a professor at Waseda University Graduate School. Prior to that, she worked for Bain & Company and Lehman Brothers. Keiko holds a Bachelor’s degree in Consumer Economics from Ochanomizu University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where she was selected as a Fulbright Scholar.

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Event Schedule
3:30 pm Registration at 277 Park Avenue, 6th floor, Please check in at guard desk on first floor lobby
4:00 pm Welcome remarks - Nobuyuki Kawabata, CEO SMBC, Americas Division
4:10 pm Japanese Culture Overview and Business Etiquette - Regina Shapiro, Culture and Language Program Manager, MUFG Americas
4:45 pm "Working with the Japanese" panel discussion of SMBC executives
5:30 pm "Womanomics in Japan and the U.S.” Keiko Honda, EVP, MIGA (The World Bank Group) - Japan's role in a global economy
6:00 pm Networking and drinks/food

$25 FWA Members, $50 Non-Members  |  Includes refreshments

Subway: 4/5/6/7 to Grand Central Station


Special thanks to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation SMBC for graciously hosting this event.







This event is organized by the Global Agenda Committee of the FWA of NY, Inc.


About the FWA
Established in 1956, the FWA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit professional organization with a membership of approximately 1000 female and male professionals working in the financial services industry or who hold a financial position in another industry. The FWA has a long tradition of encouraging women to seek career opportunities in finance and business through mentorship and networking.


Reservations Required -- Bring Photo ID -- NO WALK-INS

 Reservations/Cancellations are required by Tuesday,  January 30, 2018


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