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Japan Research Providers

Ranking Overview Methodology

2020 had an inauspicious, if not unexpected, start for the world’s third-largest economy.

For the first time since 2015 — and as predicted by the country’s top research firms last year — Japan slipped into a recession during the first three months of 2020, ushered in by an increased consumption tax, natural disasters, and trade troubles with China.

But as the country moved from a “gentle recession” into a “technical recession” marked by two consecutive quarters of negative growth, the worst was yet to come as the novel coronavirus swept the globe and upended every aspect of life in Japan.

By the end of the summer, the economy had recorded its worst contraction on record of almost 8 percent, even as the country contained the Covid-19 pandemic better than its Western counterparts.

“The health impact of [Covid-19] for Japan [has been] mild so far,” said Takaaki Muramatsu, director of research at SMBC Nikko Securities. “It has forced companies to become more efficient and has given a big kick start to the digital transformation of almost every part of Japanese life. This process will be central to Japan’s new normal.”

To help them navigate this “new normal,” investors have once again turned to a cadre of Japanese-based research firms, based on the results of Institutional Investor’s 28th annual All-Japan Research Team.

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To select the members of our 28th annual All‐Japan Research Team, Institutional Investor solicited opinions of directors of research and heads of investment firms with major securities holdings in Japan. We received responses from some 860 individuals at over 370 firms.

Participants rated their top firms in each sector and then separately rated individual analysts or economists/strategists at those firms to create two distinct rankings for each sector. A numerical score was produced by weighting each vote by the respondent’s Japanese equity commissions and the average rating awarded to create the Commission-weighted leader rankings. The same scores were weighted by each voting firm’s Japanese equity assets under management to produce the AUM-weighted rankings.

Using these scores, ranks were determined. Firms/analysts were designated runners‐up when their scores came within 35 percent of the third-place scores. For the analyst rankings, the cut-off date for individuals is the date of the survey opening (9th November 2020).

The individuals surveyed are kept confidential to ensure continuing cooperation. Voters are subject to eligibility requirements, and winners must achieve a minimum vote count. All ballots are subject to review by our Research Operations Group.

These results were compiled by Senior Project Manager Tucker Ewing, along with Xiao Lu and Michael Clemons.

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