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Black Tie International:
Joseph R. Perella

Joseph R. Perella Named Japan Society Chairman


New York, NY – June 1, 2017 – Joseph R. Perella, founding partner and chairman of Perella Weinberg Partners, will be the new Chairman of the Board of Japan Society. Following a unanimous vote, the Society's Board of Directors announced today that Mr. Perella will step into his role as Chairman effective immediately.


"It is an honor and a privilege to assume chairmanship of Japan Society during its 110th anniversary year," said Perella. "As a member of its Board of Directors, I have witnessed firsthand the Society's capacity to connect the people of Japan and the U.S. in mutual understanding.  I have been equally impressed with Japan Society's outstanding range of public programming, whether presenting the best arts from and inspired by Japan and building a lifelong appreciation for Japan through educational opportunities and resources, or working towards better practices in the business and policy sectors and promoting social welfare globally."


Perella, a financial industry legend who joined the Japan Society Board of Directors in 2014, and whose experience with Japan goes back more than 40 years, succeeds Wilbur L. Ross, who stepped down as Chairman in February 2017 following appointment as U.S. Commerce Secretary. 


"Joseph Perella is known the world over for his pioneering success in investment banking with deep-seated experience in nearly every industry and region across the globe," said Alan S. MacDonald, Vice Chairman Citibank, N.A., who served as Interim Chairman at Japan Society and who headed the search committee. "Beyond his impressive background as a business leader and true Wall Street legend, his influence and integrity spans substantial philanthropic and humanitarian endeavors. I can think of no one more suited to lead the Society into its next era of accomplishment."


"It has been an honor to get to know Mr. Perella and his deep appreciation for both Japanese culture and the U.S.-Japan alliance," said Ambassador Motoatsu Sakurai, President of Japan Society. "We very much look forward to all that we can achieve together with Mr. Perella in his position as Chairman."


Perella's first public appearance as Japan Society's Chairman will take place at the Society's 2017 Annual Dinner, June 14, 7:30 pm, at the Hilton New York (53rd Street and Avenue of the Americas). The dinner features a keynote dialogue with Citi CEO Michael L. Corbat, and honors The Hon. Caroline B. Kennedy, Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, and Kikkoman Corporation Chairman Yuzaburo Mogi. In recognition of the Society’s 110th Anniversary, guests of honor will participate in a special kagami biraki sake barrel breaking ceremony on stage. Perella and Amb. Sakurai will give brief remarks. 


About Joseph R. Perella


Joseph R.  Perella is a Founding Partner and Chairman of Perella Weinberg Partners. He served as Chief Executive Officer from formation in 2006 to June 2014. Prior to founding Perella Weinberg Partners. Perella was a member of Morgan Stanley’s Management Committee and held several senior positions at Morgan Stanley, including Vice Chairman, Chairman of Institutional Securities and Investment Banking, and Worldwide Head of the Investment Banking Division. In 1988, Perella co-founded Wasserstein Perella & Co., Inc. and was Chairman of the Board until September 1993. From 1972 to 1988, he held senior positions at First Boston and was the founder of its Mergers & Acquisitions Group. His investment banking experience of more than 40 years includes strategic assignments for leading companies in virtually every industry and region of the world.


Mr. Perella made his first trip to Japan in 1976, which made a lasting impression. In 1988, six months after forming Wasserstein and Perella, the company entered into a major joint venture with Japan's Nomura Securities Co. that lasted over a decade. In 2007, an alliance was formed between Perella Weinberg and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG).


Perella is a Director of the American Italian Cancer Foundation, The Atlantic Salmon Federation, Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc., Foundation for Italian Art and Culture, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., and the Italy and the Holocaust Foundation. He is a Trustee of Lehigh University and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, an Advisory Director of the Board of the Metropolitan Opera Association, and a member of the Director’s Advisory Board for Yale Cancer Center. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a former member of the Business Roundtable. He served on Japan Society's Board of Directors from March 2014 to his appointment as Chairman. Perella received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Lehigh University and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.


About Japan Society


Japan Society is an American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization founded on May 19, 1907, by a group of prominent New York business people and philanthropists—including Lindsay Russell, Hamilton Holt, Jacob Schiff, Ryoichiro Arai, and Dr. Jokichi Takamine—many of whom shaped the policies of exchange and collaboration that guided the Society until the outbreak of World War II. After the war, activities slowly resumed, and the stewardship of John D. Rockefeller 3rd from 1952 to 1978 led to a unified vision, a firm financial foundation, and a revitalized mission "to bring the people of the United States and Japan closer together in appreciation and understanding of each other." For Japan Society's full history, visit:


Japan Society's Board of Directors comprises more than 40 high-profile global leaders from the areas of business, public policy, academia and arts & culture. Japan Society's president Motoatsu Sakurai—previously Ambassador and Consul General of Japan in New York and former president of Mitsubishi International Corporation, USA—told the Board upon his appointment in April 2009: "A deeper, more resonant relationship between the people of Japan and the U.S. benefits both societies—and the world. This remains our goal." For the current list of Japan Society's Board of Directors, visit:


Today Japan presents sophisticated, topical and accessible experiences of Japanese art and culture, and facilitates the exchange of ideas, knowledge and innovation between the U.S. and Japan. More than 200 events annually encompass world-class exhibitions, dynamic classical and cutting-edge contemporary performing arts, film premieres and retrospectives, workshops and demonstrations, tastings, family activities, language classes, and a range of high-profile talks and expert panels that present open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia.


During the 2017-18 season, Japan Society celebrates its 110th anniversary with expanded programming that builds toward a richer, more globally interconnected 21st century: groundbreaking creativity in the arts, unique access to business insiders and cultural influencers, and critical focus on social and educational innovation, illuminating our world beyond borders. More at


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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