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Kathy Matsui

Kathy M. Matsui (キャシー・松井, born 1965) is chief Japan strategist for global investment bank Goldman Sachs. She was born in California in 1965.[1] She was credited by Shinzō Abe, prime minister of Japan, with having coined the term "womenomics".[2][3][4][5][6][7] She is a graduate of Harvard University[8] and survived breast cancer in 2001.[9][10] She is a TEDx speaker.[11]


Life and careerEdit

Matsui's parents were Japanese Christians who immigrated from Nara Prefecture in Japan to the United States[12] in the early 1960s. She was born in California in 1965,[13] where her parents ran a commercial flower nursery in Salinas Valley.[12] She has three siblings, Teresa, William, and Paul.[14] Growing up, she worked in the family business while attending school and taking Japanese classes on Saturdays.[14]

Matsui earned degrees in social studies from Harvard University and international affairs from Johns Hopkins University.[14] In 1986 she visited Japan for the first time—two years on a Rotary scholarship at the International Christian University in Tokyo. Before this, she had only a weak command of the Japanese language.[13] Matsui joined the Japan Strategy team of Barclays de Zoete Wedd Securities in spring 1990, just after the Japanese bubble economy peaked. She joined Goldman Sachs Japan in 1994,[12] where she became managing director in 1998[14] and the first female partner there[12] in 2000.[14]

In August 1999 Matsui published a report in which she coined the term "womenomics", in which she argues increasing the participation of women in the workforce as a better solution to Japan's economic stagnation than increasing immigration or the birthrate. At the time, 56.7% of working-age women participated in the workforce in Japan, where women's status and opportunities have ranked low compared to most other nations. She likened such low participation to "running a marathon with one leg".[14]

In 2001, Matsui was diagnosed with breast cancer. She returned to California for chemotherapy and recuperation. She wore a wig when she returned to Goldman Sachs eight months later.[14]

In 2006, the Bangladeshi-American lawyer Muktadir Kamal Ahmad convinced Matsui to become involved with Asian University for Women, a liberal arts college opened in 2008 in Bangladesh to increase women's education in Asia, where education rates for women remain low. Matsui has promoted investment in the university from Japanese companies, arguing, "Educating women in developing countries is probably the highest return on one’s investment yen or dollar."[15]

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe incorporated Matsui's womenomics research into his Abenomics economic reforms announced in 2012.[14] On 1 January 2015 she was appointed a vice president of Goldman Sachs.[16]


The magazine Institutional Investor named her the No. 1 stock market forecaster for Japan in 2000, 2001, and 2006,[14] and the Wall Street Journal chose her in 2007 as one of "10 Women to Watch in Asia".[12]

Personal lifeEdit

Matsui is married to Jesper Koll[14] and is the mother of a son and daughter, both of whom were born in Japan.[13]


Works citedEdit

External linksEdit