Financial Institutions – Insurance: Third
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Financial Institutions – Insurance: Third

Michael Huttner & team

J.P. Morgan Cazenove

After two years at No. 2, J.P. Morgan Cazenove slips to third place. Newcomer Michael Huttner oversees the team, which consists of four analysts in London and two in Mumbai; they follow 46 companies, one more than last year at this time. “I like Michael Huttner and the team because they keep in touch frequently with company managements and keep investors updated,” says one buy-side supporter. The researchers upgraded Germany’s Allianz from neutral to overweight in August, at €84.70, on a likely increase in the insurer’s operating profit; they affirmed the recommendation in early December. By the end of that month, the stock had climbed 23.7 percent, to €104.80, and was ahead of the sector by 6.9 percentage points. Allianz notwithstanding, the team’s outlook is neutral. Challenges include low interest rates and increased competition from nonlife insurers in the U.S., although opportunities may result from the delayed implementation of the Solvency II Directive, a European Union mandate that raises the capital requirements for insurers. Late last year the EU announced that the new rules would not take effect until 2016; the postponement could “free capital for deals in the meantime,” Huttner notes.

Leslie Kramer

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