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Japan's best corporate and investment bank 2020: Morgan Stanley and MUFG

Morgan Stanley and MUFG

Alberto Tamura, Morgan Stanley.jpg
Alberto Tamura, Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities

When Alberto Tamura became the CEO of Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities in April 2019, he made the obligatory “we’re optimistic about Japan” comment that all new chiefs make. In 2020, though, he proved not just why he’s bullish, but how the banking giant aims to navigate the world’s third-largest economy.

At first, the plan was to ride Tokyo’s wave of corporate governance reforms and moves to increase productivity. Then came a coronavirus crisis no one saw coming, turning Japan’s 2020 into a year of urgent crisis management. The result: yet another year of making a success of what was once a stressful joint venture.

It helps to enter a battle on a strong footing. The combined Morgan Stanley and MUFG closed out the fiscal year ending in March with the highest net income – up 8% – among 10 large global banks that filed annual financial reports in Japan. Despite weakness in the Morgan Stanley/MUFG trading business, the joint venture saw heady demand for overseas bonds thanks to yield-hungry investors.

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