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All-Japan Research Team Hall of Fame Welcomes Toshiya Mizutani

Mitsubishi UFJ’s Toshiya Mizutani celebrates ten years at No. 1 in Construction.

Toshiya Mizutani of Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. becomes the 14th person inducted into Institutional Investor’s All-Japan Research Team Hall of Fame, which honors those analysts who have achieved at least ten sector-topping appearances.

Equity research was not the 57-year-old’s first career choice. “I had wanted to become a musician,” he recalls. “However, being a musician requires innate talent — so I gave up.”

Instead, Mizutani went to Chuo University in Tokyo, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, and worked in investor relations for several companies before joining Mitsubishi UFJ as a construction analyst in 2000.

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He debuted on the All-Japan Research Team in 2005, as a runner-up, then advanced to third place the following year. In 2007 he finished in first place for the first time — and hasn’t moved from the summit since.

“Equity research is the kind of job whose demands will change with the times,” he observes. “Sometimes it can be very difficult to predict what will happen next, but that’s what makes the job so interesting.”

Through the years money managers have praised Mizutani’s thorough understanding of the companies he covers. The analyst “knows the industry well and probably has the most contacts in the sector,” one buy-side backer told II in 2009, while last year another noted that his “long experience and deep knowledge make him extremely valuable.”

To be successful as an analyst, Mizutani believes, you really have to enjoy what you do. “You have to respond quickly and to have a strong desire to learn — and most important, you have to like people,” he says.

When he’s not working, Mizutani indulges his love of music. “I practice with a chorus and go to concerts — tango, classical music, jazz,” he says. “I also like to go hear rakugo,” an ancient Japanese tradition of comic storytelling in which a seated performer creates multiple characters using only minimal props and variations in the pitch and tone of his voice.

Mizutani is one of six Hall of Famers to lead their respective lineups this year. The others are:

• Shinsuke Iwasa of Mizuho Securities Group, Broadcasting

• Katsushi Saito of Nomura, Machinery

• Nobuyuki Saji of Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Economics

• Mariko Watanabe of UBS, OTC & Small Companies

• Atsushi Yamaguchi of UBS, Metals

Four other Hall of Fame inductees appear on the 2016 team:

• Jun Harada of UBS, Transportation (runner-up)

• Toshihiko Okino of UBS, Housing & Real Estate (second place)

• Hidemaru Yamaguchi of Citi, Health Care & Pharmaceuticals (runner-up)

• Takaaki Yoshino of Daiwa Securities Group, Quantitative Research (third place)

Two analysts celebrate their ninth sector-topping appearances this year, meaning they may earn entry into the Hall of Fame next year:

• Daisaku Masuno of Nomura, Telecommunications

• Kunihiro Matsumoto of SMBC Nikko Securities, Auto Parts

Full results of the 2016 All-Japan Research Team survey will be released on Tuesday, April 5.

Follow Thomas W. Johnson on Twitter at @tjohnson_nyc.

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