Capital Calls: Nintendo scion drives philanthropy

Nintendo’s game character Super Mario is seen on a screen during the presentation ceremony for Nintendo’s new Switch game console in Tokyo, Japan on January 13, 2017. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon

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FUNNY MONEY. A Nintendo heir (7974.T) has redesigned the family office. Visitors landing on the website for Yamauchi Investment Unit # 10 are now greeted by an animated unicorn and colorful characters jumping along to catchy arcade-style music.

It could be more than a gadget. The entity, which was created last year by Banjo Yamauchi to manage assets held by late Nintendo chairman Hiroshi Yamauchi, is proposing to take a generally warmer approach, according to one. Bloomberg interview published Tuesday. According to the website, funds will be made to tackle Japanese social issues in order to “return our inherited material and spiritual wealth to the public.” This fits a larger trend globally: although 43% of family offices are still looking to maximize financial returns, 61% of the next generation are interested in making an impact, compared to just 47% of their parents, a UBS 2020 study find. Investment details are scarce, but if No.10 Yamauchi can make social responsibility fun, so much the better. (By Sharon Lam)

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