Connell Brothers Appoints President of Wilbur-Ellis Co. Japan

April 16, 2013 — Press Releases,

Former Sumitomo Chemicals and BASF executive to oversee entire operations in Japan for Asia’s largest specialty chemicals and ingredients distributor 

SAN FRANCISCO – April 16, 2013 – Connell Brothers, a division of Wilbur-Ellis Company, and the largest marketer and distributor of specialty chemicals and industrial ingredients in Asia-Pacific, has appointed Mr. Iguchi Shinichi, former head of marketing and business development of monomer at Sumitomo Chemicals, based in China, to lead the strategic direction and expand the business operations of Wilbur-Ellis Co. Japan.  The company has operated in Osaka and Tokyo since the late 1940s.

“Under Shinichi’s leadership, we are looking forward to a new era of growth in our existing and future business for customers and suppliers in Japan,” said Azita Owlia, vice president of Connell Brothers, North Asia. “Shinichi will play a critical role in setting the strategic direction for each market segment, and identifying and promoting new opportunities for the business.”

With his successful track record in operational and strategic roles at both Sumitomo Chemicals and BASF, Connell Brothers is confident that he will further strengthen and develop the company’s position in Japan’s market, noted Owlia.

In his role with Sumitomo chemicals, he led the start-up of JV production in the Middle East and pre-marketing of ethylene derivatives in Asia-Pacific, which resulted in sales of over $700M in Asia through the company’s own channels.  He also led the team responsible for business development and growth in Asia.  During his career at BASF, he successfully set-up plants in Malaysia and China for acrylic monomers production and led the team in Asia-Pacific to develop the business by using localized product from Malaysia and China.  He grew this business to over $500M.  Shinichi earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Kansai University and has more than 20 years of chemical industry experience.

“I am excited to be a part of Connell Brothers and look forward to working with a professional team to build on the successful track record that Wilbur-Ellis has in Japan,” said Shinichi.  “We are well positioned as a leading specialty chemical and ingredients distributor in Japan, with the ability to provide superior sales and marketing support to our customers with a high-quality portfolio of internationally reputable products and suppliers.”

Shinichi is succeeding Mr. Ken Kanai, who is retiring as current president of Wilbur-Ellis Japan on June 30 after serving the company for the past 21 years.  “Under Ken’s leadership, our business in Japan has grown exponentially.  Ken has helped us to build a very successful operation in Japan; a business that today is one of the largest in our Asia- Pacific network,” said Ted Eliot, president of Connell Brothers.  “I am very appreciative of Ken’s leadership, achievements and contributions to our business over his 21 years of service to the company.  His enthusiasm and strong drive for growth is inspiring and will be missed.  Ken will remain as a director of Wilbur-Ellis Japan and I wish him and his wife Etsuko all the best for a well deserved retirement.”