After earning a runner-up spot the past two years, Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co.’s Kazufumi Takeuchi rises to third place, notching his best showing on this roster. “His work is clear and specific, even while he’s still building up a history with the companies,” comments one fund manager. Takeuchi, 35, covered this sector at J.P. Morgan before jumping to Mitsubishi UFJ in 2009. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of London. Currently monitoring 26 Japanese real estate trusts, the researcher is advising clients to favor two Tokyo-based, urban-focused players, citing their exposure to a recovery in property demand and rising rents. Japan Real Estate Investment Corp. and Nippon Building Fund both focus on office properties, and Takeuchi projects an upside of more than 32 percent for each stock. Japan REIT closed at ¥599,000 late last month, while Nippon Building was trading at ¥605,000. His respective price objectives are ¥794,000 and ¥801,000. “Takeuchi is eager to get at the true values,” attests another backer.