Mitsubishi UFJ Hires Kaoru Kondo as Structured Finance Analyst

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. hired Kaoru Kondo as a senior analyst to strengthen its research on structured finance as Japan’s securitization market grows.

Kondo, 38, joined Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. this week from Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch, Hiroaki Konishi, a Tokyo-based spokesman, said by phone. She will be a senior quants and structured finance analyst, Konishi said.

The value of securitization products, including residential mortgage-backed securities, issued in Japan rose 34 percent to 2.64 trillion yen ($21 billion) in the first half of 2015 from a year earlier, according to Daiwa Securities Group Inc. Monetary easing has caused interest rates to plunge, prompting some investors to chase higher-yielding securities.

“Japan’s securitization market is recovering and becoming more active, thanks to the zero interest-rate policy,” said Yoshiki Furukawa, general manager of the debt-research office at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley, a joint venture between Japan’s biggest bank and the U.S. brokerage. “Local investors are becoming more hungry for assets such as structured products.”

Kondo was rated Japan’s No. 5 securitization analyst in a Nikkei Veritas newspaper poll for 2015. Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley has been the top underwriter of so-called zaito bonds for government institutions including the Japan Housing Finance Agency, which sells notes backed by mortgages, since 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Kondo will research the residential mortgage-backed securities market in Japan as well as asset-backed securities and collateralized loan obligations in the U.S. and Europe, Konishi said. The University of Tokyo graduate has worked at Nomura Holdings Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley.

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