2015 All-America Research Team: Insurance/Life, No. 1: Jamminder (Jimmy) Bhullar
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2015 All-America Research Team: Insurance/Life, No. 1: Jamminder (Jimmy) Bhullar

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Jamminder (Jimmy) Bhullar of J.P. Morgan earns his sixth consecutive No. 1 appearance.

< The 2015 All-America Research Team

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Jamminder (Jimmy) Bhullar

J.P. Morgan

First-Place Appearances: 6


Total Appearances: 10


Analyst Debut: 2006


Owing in large part to his top-notch customer service, buy-siders say, Jamminder (Jimmy) Bhullar of J.P. Morgan earns his sixth consecutive No. 1 appearance. “Jimmy’s my first call because he goes out of his way to be the most client-friendly analyst in his space,” one asset manager affirms. “If I need something on the sector, I can rely on Jimmy and his team to come up with it in the blink of an eye.” Bhullar, 38, is taking a neutral stance on U.S. life insurers, whose stocks shed 11.9 percent during the 12 months through mid-September, trailing the broad market by 9.3 percentage points. On the one hand, “most insurers have excess capital for share buybacks and dividend hikes,” he notes. “Also, we expect pricing in most product lines to remain rational.” On the other, however, he forecasts that return on equity will stagnate in the 10 to 11 percent range in the next few years and organic growth in most product lines will be weak. In addition, “the absolute level of rates remains low and presents a headwind to margins and topline growth in interest-sensitive products,” the researcher cautions, the sector is fairly valued, and “a significant proportion of investors own life insurance stocks due to their perceived leverage to rising interest rates not a positive thesis on operating trends.” Given this backdrop, Prudential Financial is Bullar’s favorite name. The insurer’s superior return on equity, healthy operating trends and relatively attractive valuation will enable it to outperform, he projects. In mid-September, Pru closed at $77.15; he pegs the shares at $107. Bhullar “has excellent relationships with managements but is completely independent in his opinions, which helps cut through the industry’s complex issues,” another investor asserts.



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