Thomas Ballan


Independent Agent


Soccer doing to me in an hour what fifteen years of rugby never could, my reluctant impersonation of Wim Hof, or why I once drove all night to Spain and back.


Make way for Japan’s next superhero. Because, just as much as the Batman he admires, Thomas has all the right stuff: pro rugby physique, GQ looks, charisma, wit, katana-sharp intellect, and street smarts nurtured by his parents while he and the other Ballan brothers were growing up in the fine wine region of Bordeaux, France. Oh, and he hates bullies. During a one-year leave of absence from his talent acquisition job in Canada, Thomas became the hiring director of a Tokyo-based company: when it pulled out of Japan, he stayed on and took the logical step of becoming a corporate recruiter. Luckily for us, he soon decided that life in a tiny office with one window, a micro-managing boss and downcast colleagues wasn’t for him, and came knocking. Zensho difference? “Like night and day,” he says. “This is a family where you enjoy support, guidance, laughter… The collaboration between partners is awesome.” True, although with his incredible one-to-one introduction-to-placement ratio, he does just fine for himself and others, thank you. And unlike the caped crusader, he doesn’t need a utility belt to work wonders for his community.

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Values: A message to our awesome tribe

Years from now, you may not remember the particulars of deals you closed at Zensho (or what the returns were). You will remember your colleagues and how it felt to work with them. The imprint you left on the world.

We invited you to join our tribe because you impressed us as someone who shares values intrinsic to our culture. But just to ensure we’re totally on the same page, here they are, spelled out in black and white and trimmed in our corporate colors.

Freedom is Zensho’s central pillar. Beyond the mere state of being free, for us the word carries with it a sense of obligation: “Freedom to…” What follows should define you as a person. Of course, to provide your business community with amazing service, but also to engage and give back to the world. And that’s where Autonomy comes in. Unlike the general implications of self-rule, ours leads not to detachment but to a broad and radical sense of interconnectivity. One that enables each of us to commune with others in infinite ways. Together, these two values empower you like nothing else on earth, and they’re here waiting for you.

So, what do we ask in return?

Transparency means not only having open books, but being one yourself. No secrets or ulterior agendas. It is to share personal and industry information without seeking to leverage it for profit or motivate others in any way. Its cousin, Clarity, is about including precision and context in the communication process. At Zensho, we always try to anticipate the details a fellow partner might need and supply them up front.

Which leads us to…

Collaboration. That is, to cooperate meaningfully. Because only through recognizing individual strengths can we thrive as a whole. For us, collaboration requires presence as we listen and respond, evolving toward a collective goal represented by the name of our charity initiative: Ayni (reciprocity). This can’t exist without Collegiality. How we care for each other and the tribe as a whole, share both opportunity and responsibility with open hearts – that’s what empowers us to excel as a firm.

With these six in place, our seventh value happens all by itself.

Harmony. When your environment manifests balance between all people and things – even forces that oppose each other – life just flows. Living completely becomes a state of being. After all, that’s the very meaning of Zensho.