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2015 All-Japan Research Team: Insurance & Other Nonbank Financials, No. 1: Masao Muraki

For a fifth year running, Masao Muraki, 38, headlines this list.

Masao Muraki
Deutsche Securities
First-Place Appearances: 6

Total Appearances: 10

Analyst Debut: 2007

For a fifth year running, Masao Muraki, 38, headlines this list. The Deutsche Securities analyst officially follows 17 companies in this sector, up from 14 a year ago, while monitoring an additional 15 names in his role as a global financial strategist. Investors appreciate this broad scope. “Muraki always gives us comprehensive views,” marvels one fund manager. Adds another admirer: “His deep understanding makes him good at explaining the impacts of different market conditions.” The researcher continues to urge investors to buy Tokio Marine Holdings, citing the healthy capital surpluses maintained by Japan’s No. 1 property/casualty insurer, by market value. He has maintained this positive stance for several years, in part because earnings growth has been strong. During the 12 months through late March, the Tokyo-based provider’s stock soared 53 percent, to ¥4,600, surpassing Japan’s broad market by 18.9 percentage points. Muraki forecasts a further rise to ¥4,750. A name that has more recently joined his list of favorites is Tokyo’s Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings, the nation’s No. 2 p/c insurer, which he elevated from hold to buy in January. Management was reducing costs and increasing dividends, he advised, and planned to buy back shares. Late last month the stock was trading at ¥3,767, up 23.6 percent since he upgraded it and ahead of the wider domestic market by 11.5 percentage points.

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