Philip Carrigan – Founder, Representative Director


To contact Philip Carrigan:
Tel: +81-3-4520-5590
Direct: +81-3-4520-5591
Mobile: +81-90-6498-3305

Philip is based in Tokyo and has more than 12 years of executive consulting experience. He is renowned in the industry for recruiting top talent for a broad range of multinational companies from marketing and clinical development managers to directors.

Philip established Morunda K.K after previously working for a Japanese executive search firm, where he led a 12-person team.
He is recognized as one of Asia’s leading recruiters in the life sciences industry and has personally placed more than 200 executives throughout his career.

Originally from Australia, Philip holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics from Leicester University, England and a Diploma of Education from Armidale College of Advanced Education. He has lived in Japan since 1997.

He is an active member of Pharma Delegates and is a monthly, contributing writer for Japan’s leading English Pharmaceutical publication, Pharma Japan. The articles are industry insights into Leadership, Human Resources and Industry Trends.

Michael Huberts – Director


To contact Michael Huberts:
Tel: +81-3-4520-5590
Direct: +81-3-4520-5593
Mobile: +81-80-9976-4233

Michael is a Director of Morunda KK and has been in Life Science Executive Search since 2005. He worked with Philip for 5 years in Japan’s leading Life Science recruitment business and was the youngest Partner promoted in Company history. He relocated to Europe in 2010 after being accepted into a global top 20 MBA program.

Following his MBA, he worked as a Consultant for the RSA Group, Europe’s Premier Life Science Executive Search firm, where he completed Global and Pan European Retained projects for the world’s largest Pharmaceutical and Medical Device firms.

Michael’s focus is on driving strategic and business development initiatives for the broader Morunda Group as well as furthering the development of Morunda’s talented Consulting teams.

Michael’s non-search related work includes Investor Relations to the Funds industry and Capital Markets Advisor to a number of FTSE 250 companies. He has undertaken consulting projects on Marketing/Fundraising initiatives for an African focused Investment fund and a rural Vietnamese educational program.

He holds an MBA from The University of Oxford, Said Business School and a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University, Australia.

Gladys Toh – Director


To contact Gladys Toh:
Tel: +81-3-4520-5590

Gladys is the Morunda Director for Administration and is a founding member of the company. Originally from Singapore, she holds a Bachelor in Arts, Major in Marketing from the University of Canberra, Australia. She has extensive experience in Sales, Marketing and the Service industry and has worked in Singapore, Hong Kong & Tokyo. Gladys additionally spent several years living in Dubai UAE whilst working as cabin crew for Emirates Airline. She speaks Mandarin and English. Gladys has been living in Japan since 2008.

Gladys founded Morunda Asia in July 2013 to serve the growing demand for top talent across the Asia Pacific market. Morunda Asia specializes in placing challenging to fill roles in Sales, Marketing and Research and Development and is based in Singapore.

Morunda understands that the pharmaceutical and biotechnology businesses around the world are grappling with declining R&D productivity. Singapore is the leading logistics hub globally, has world class intellectual property protection and is now Asia’s fastest-growing bio-cluster. Singapore additionally presents attractive strategic partnership / new medicines development opportunities with research institutes, corporate labs and public hospitals and future therapies that can be customized for regional and global markets.

Adam Kennedy, Director

To contact Adam Kennedy:
Tel: +81-3-4520-5590
Direct: +81-3-4520-5592
Mobile: +81-90-7172-6448

Adam Kennedy is a Director with the Morunda Group and first came to Japan in 2002 (working alongside Philip Carrigan at his first company). He has been working in search ever since, specialising in senior level positions within the Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology sectors. Adam has proven himself to be one of Japan’s top recruiters and Asia’s Life Science leaders regularly seek him out for his deep industry knowledge and consultative approach.

Adam focuses on director level positions and above, and has a personal interest in rare diseases, firms servicing to Pharma and Device Manufacturers and smaller operations establishing themselves in Asia. Originally trained in finance, Adam worked in a variety of financial and operational management roles in the UK’s National Health Service, as well as a boutique consulting firm.

Giorgio Villa – Associate Director

To contact Giorgio Villa:
Tel: +81-3-4520-5590
Direct: +81-3-4520-5595
Mobile: +81-70-1482-2625

Giorgio is an Associate Director and leader of our R&D recruitment practice.
Giorgio is originally from Italy, and spent the majority of his formative years in Switzerland. At the University of Bern, he obtained his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry insigni cum laude. After graduating, he performed postdoctoral research at the University of Barcelona and at the renowned Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. After nearly a decade of experience in lab research, including drug discovery for the oncology department of Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research (NIBR), he joined Morunda here in Japan in the early 2010’s. He has run Senior Retained, Contingent and Talent Mapping projects for a variety of major Pharmaceutical companies (both Japanese and foreign owned) and his scientific knowledge is a major advantage amongst Clients and candidates alike.

Within R&D, his main specialty are senior Clinical, Medical, Regulatory, and Open Innovation roles.


An Insider’s Perspective on Hiring in Japan

Recently, Morunda KK has been contacted by a number of companies looking to enter the Japanese market. Recruiting is not always straightforward for new entrants into Japan, and while the decisions involved are certainly not easy, they present challenges that must be carefully considered. Having a solid strategy is a must!

The five challenges of recruiting In Japan

  1. Start early. Recruiting in Japan takes time, and although thirty days’ notice is common business practice for candidates who are resigning, it often takes sixty days to start a new company.
  2. Be a good fisherperson. Don’t make an offer to the candidate that you have fallen in love with too quickly. Reel candidates in slowly and keep them interested and excited, but don’t move too quickly or they may get nervous and swim away.  I was speaking recently to a pharmaceutical executive who told me that he had recently been offered a country manager role but decided to not proceed since the offer came too quickly and gave him the impression that the company must have been desperate. On reflection, the candidate told me that if the company had taken its time and paced out the meetings, he most probably would have accepted the offer.
  3. It takes a village to recruit your star. Japanese and western employees see the decision-making process differently. From a western perspective, decisions are made by individuals. The paradigm here is that the individuals have the power to choose. More choice equals more freedom, and we are masters of our destiny. From the Japanese perspective, choice takes on a different meaning.

In Japan, the stakeholders in a candidate’s decisions come from all areas of their lives. It is important that they receive consensus from their group, and it is the role of their group to protect the individual from making an error in judgment.

  1. Bilingual candidates are limited in supply. Recruiting English and Japanese bilingual talent in Japan is similar to recruiting Spanish and English bilingual talent in the USA.  There are great bilingual candidates out there, but their number is finite.
  2. You may be flying blind. Usually companies have an (informal) internal reference checking system when hiring candidates.  For the first hire, you may not have that luxury. Do your own reference checks or pay a third party. Asking a search firm to do reference checks may be like having the fox guard the hen house.


The six winning strategies of recruiting In Japan

  1. Write compelling a job description. Most job descriptions are depressingly generic.  A great job outline emphasizes opportunities and challenges, and not just the skills and qualifications required. You’re selling an opportunity, so tap into your inner creative director (think Donald Draper from the television show Madmen) and come up with an advertising campaign for your company and the position that you want to fill.
  2. Where will the candidate be in five years? Communicate candidates’ career paths to them. Great candidates have a five-year horizon and expect to excel. What is the dream at the end of the rainbow? How will the position change others’ lives, internally or externally? What is the big hairy audacious goal (BHAG – see James Collins and Jerry Porras’ 1994 book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies)?
  3. Get connected.  The Japan External Trade Organization.  JETRO provides foreign investors with abundant information on all aspects of doing business in Japan, and also offers expert consultation services and even free temporary office space throughout the country.
  4. Choose the right recruiting partner. Your recruiting partner is your voice in the market. Your partner should match your company’s culture, passion and values. A limited pool of candidates means that you may only get one shot at the best and brightest in the market.  It is far easier to hold one firm accountable than several.
  5. The right hire can be a golden recruiting goose. Top talent follows top talent.
  6. The offer! When making an offer to a candidate, remember Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The offer should not be too soft or too hard but just right. If you underpay or overpay your first hire, you risk salary inequity problems down the track.

Japan Corporate Information

Company name:
Morunda K.K.
Morunda 株式会社

Konishi Bldg. 7F, 2-6-3 Nihonbashi Honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo Japan 103-0023
東京都中央区日本橋本町2-6-3 小西ビル7階
Phone Number:
November 20th 2009
平成21 年11月20日
Recruiting License #
13 – ユ – 304896
Representative Director:
Philip Carrigan
Main Business: Retained Executive and Contingency Search in Japan

Morunda Asia

Talent Search

Morunda Blue

Retained Search

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