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Nomura Leads 2016 All-Japan Sales Team

Mizuho lands in second place for a third year in a row, while SMBC Nikko repeats at No. 3.

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Investors in Japanese equities are extremely consistent in their opinions regarding sales coverage. Nomura tops the 2016 All-Japan Sales Team, Institutional Investor’s exclusive annual ranking of the best sales forces serving investors in Japanese equities, as it has every year since this survey was introduced, in 2012. The rest of the top five is a repeat of last year’s roster: Mizuho Securities Group in second place followed by SMBC Nikko Securities in third, Daiwa Securities Group at No. 4 and Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. at No. 5.

“I’m always impressed by Nomura’s strong relationships with corporates and government-related organizations,” reports one admirer. (Unless instructed otherwise, we keep confidential the identities of survey respondents and their firms to ensure their continuing cooperation.) “Last year I asked Nomura to coordinate meetings with regulators. Coordinating meetings with government officers is not an easy task in Japan, but Nomura handled our requests very quickly. And they arranged a lot of one-on-one meetings with issuers’ management teams for us. These were very helpful!”

That view is shared by a second impressed investor. “Nomura offers good access to senior managements at Japanese companies, wide research coverage to back them up and a good feel of on-the-ground sentiment,” this person says.

“In Hong Kong the Nomura sales team that services our account is led by Minoru Yagi. I find their efforts special because of the personal touch that [Yagi] brings to bear in providing our investment team with access to Nomura’s excellent research personnel, as well as access to Japanese corporates,” another client notes. “I know for certain that Yagi has larger, more important clients from a business point of view, but we never feel like anything but his favorite clients.”

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The sales team at No. 2 garners comparable praise. 

“My Mizuho sales contacts are extremely helpful in filtering the wealth of research information and distributing the ones that are important to me,” explains one supporter. “They are also excellent in arranging company meetings and corporate access events at conferences. My main contact is Ashley Kent, a salesperson I have known for more than 20 years. He’s complimented by the young Ismini Petrides.”

Other backers also single out individuals for special praise:

• “Yukiyo Huston is simply the best — and by that I mean the most effective — Japanese equities salesperson in this business, in my 20-year experience working with the Japanese equity market. She is extremely knowledgeable, responsive, hardworking and can provide fast access to corporate managers and some of the best Japanese equities research analysts available at Mizuho.”

Takao Inoue “is very attentive and a believer in hard work. We think he is the most excellent on the Street.”

• “Yoshiki Koga has been very proactive all year to bring new and interesting ideas and organize successful events.

• “Glenn Lajeunesse and his team have been very responsive to our requests. Glenn has also been a good source of idea generation, through his thoughtful e-mails, phone calls and daily messages. Mizuho organizes great conferences, and Glenn and his team always try their best to get us the best meetings.”

• “Yukio Uchida is the best. He always provides not only in-house products but his various considerable investment ideas.”

Each year II invites participants in the broader All-Japan Research Team survey to name up to four firms that they feel provide the best sales support. We received responses from 849 buy-side analysts and money managers at 331 firms that collectively manage about $957 billion in Japanese equity assets. Roughly 77 percent of the people who cast votes in the research team survey, representing 93 percent of the participating buy-side institutions, answered our question about the best sales teams.

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