Masaru Funai was a co-founder of the firm and for more than 40 years, he assisted Japanese companies entering the U.S. market, advising them on all phases of establishing a business, including the incorporation of U.S. subsidiaries, the acquisition of existing U.S. businesses, the formation of joint ventures in the United States and the establishment of distributorship and other sales networks. During the height of the huge wave of Japanese investment into the U.S. from the 1970s through 2000, Masaru was the most prominent legal advisor in the U.S. Midwest for Japanese corporations.
Masaru served as an advisor or on the board of directors of several privately held companies. Over a period of three decades, he also served as legal counsel to the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago and as a legal advisor to the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago (“JCCC”), an organization comprised of more than 400 Japanese businesses. While assisting the JCCC, Masaru was the driving force behind the establishment of the JCCC Foundation a not-for-profit organization that, in the 26 years since its formation, has awarded more than $5,000,000 in grants to educational and cultural organizations in the Chicago area.
In 2001, Mr. Funai was honored by the Government of Japan with The Fourth Class of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, a Japanese order established on January 4, 1888 by Emperor Meiji. The honor is awarded to those who have made distinguished achievements in research, business and industry, healthcare, social work and government.