633 Clark Street
Evanston, IL 60208-1113
Re: Recommendation Letter
I have known Mari Niiro since 201X, as the Chief Financial Officer of Shinsei Bank, a Japan based, listed financial institution backed by U.S investors and Japanese government. I came to know Mari through one of the bank wide initiatives on the accounting reform (Sarbanes Oxley) project and I was impressed by her exemplary skills. She exuded much confidence in the adherence of standards, as well as in the preparation of reportorial documents in a very organized structure. I spearheaded selecting her in the CFO and Executive Office to work on implementing strategic initiatives in areas such as M&A, capital raising, investor relations and performance management.
The Office of CFO functioned as a head of 12 different finance related divisions with over 200 staff, and work closely with Investment Banking section. Her deep understanding and knowledge from her previous work experience at one of the most successful private equity firms was very useful in such role of the team. She was an excellent worker who exemplified possessing hard skills set: knowledge through physical and mental toughness. Yet, what made her special and irreplaceable was the extraordinary interpersonal skill. She got promoted as one of the youngest managers in the bank after one year of hard work. Her deep observation skills, in conjunction with skills in conflict negotiation and resolution as well as problem solving, were truly an asset.
Mari was given the main role in town hall meetings that provided every single staff an opportunity to bring up the issues they were facing. We also started “lunch with CFO” and covered all staff to have at least one lunch with the CFO every year. Mari was an excellent facilitator in such occasions to encourage nervous junior staff into relaying relevant inputs and make them honest and pro-active with CFO.
Finally, it could be averred that the career shift from a banker to a therapist seemed to be unusual. The experience with Mari in the bank for nearly 5 years proved that the program she plans to pursue had been her long time professional goal. I enthusiastically support her graduate application because I believe she is a rare package with innate intelligence, exemplary diligence, as well as prominent interpersonal and people skills. Should you need more details on Mari’s proficiency and competency for the program, I would be more than willing to respond to your inquiries, if and when needed. I am confident that Mari would be qualified for the MSMFT Program. Thank you.
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