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2016 All-Japan Research Team: Quantitative Research, No. 2: Keiichi Ito

Repeating in second place is SMBC Nikko Securities’ Keiichi Ito.

Keiichi Ito
SMBC Nikko Securities
First-place appearances: 0

Total appearances: 4

Team debut: 2013

Repeating in second place is SMBC Nikko Securities’ Keiichi Ito, who provides market-based “comment and analysis that is useful and actionable,” one portfolio manager attests. Ito, 46, notes that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy is a fundamental issue for investors in Japanese equities because U.S. interest rates are the driving force for shifts between risk-on and risk-off sentiments. Moreover, the gap between interest rates in the two countries “directly affects the yen-dollar rate, and it hits company profits,” he points out. Beyond these macro considerations, the researcher is also monitoring the potential impacts of government action in the run-up to this summer’s upper house elections, forecasting that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party might move to bolster share prices by, for example, allowing the country’s ¥139.8 trillion ($1.2 trillion) Government Pension Investment Fund to directly buy and sell stocks. In addition, environmental, social and governance considerations, which have already taken hold by the U.S. investment community, are gaining popularity elsewhere around the globe, he notes. Since Japan’s GPIF signed on to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment in September, “other pensions and also money managers have started thinking about ESG investment,” says Ito. “At the initial stage corporate governance is most important, and environmental and social factors will become important sometime later.”

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