2015 All-America Research Team: Insurance/Life, No. 2: Thomas G. Gallagher
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2015 All-America Research Team: Insurance/Life, No. 2: Thomas G. Gallagher


Notching his third consecutive year at No. 2 is Credit Suisse’s Thomas Gallagher.

< The 2015 All-America Research Team


Thomas Gallagher

Credit Suisse

First-Place Appearances: 0

Total appearances: 8

Analyst debut: 2006

Notching his third consecutive year at No. 2, Credit Suisse’s Thomas Gallagher “knows so much about the industry and makes great calls,” one backer declares. Most U.S. life insurers have sufficiently robust earnings and balance sheets to remain relatively healthy through an ongoing period of suppressed interest rates, the analyst contends, but “a continuation of low interest rates would likely mean demand for many insurance products will remain lackluster, challenging the growth prospects for the industry.” With this environment in mind, he dubs MetLife his top pick. “MetLife is relatively well-positioned within the sector for this scenario and alternatively should fare well if interest rates move meaningfully higher,” says Gallagher, 46. Additionally, he projects that management at the New York–based insurer will accelerate its currently “modest” capital return program over the next 12 to 18 months if the company wins its lawsuit against the U.S. government over its designation as a systemically important financial institution. Even if it loses, the researcher contends, MetLife would likely move forward with a shareholder-friendly capital management plan if the company were to gain clarity on nonbank SIFI rules for insurers — and those rules were “not overly onerous.” He assigns the stock a price objective of $60, implying a 29 percent upside to its level in mid-September.

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