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Research & Consulting Unit

Head of Research & Consulting Unit Keiichiro Ogushi

We aim to be the No. 1 Think Tank, supporting the growth of our customers by using our evolving research and consulting capabilities to the fullest extent to address the issues they confront.

Medium– to Long–term Unit Strategy

Mizuho's Research & Consulting Unit was newly established in April 2016 as One Think Tank to bring together Mizuho's research and consulting functions. It aims to become the fifth pillar supporting Mizuho's objective of being a financial services consulting group as envisioned in its medium–term business plan.

As One Think Tank, this unit integrates Mizuho's banking, trust banking, and securities entities together with its research and consulting entities (MHRI, MHIR, and Mizuho–DL Financial Technology) and, thereby, enables Mizuho to offer its capabilities seamlessly to its customers. The unit is, therefore, positioned to help resolve such corporate issues as management/financial strategy, passing on businesses and assets to the next generation, and IT systems as well as take initiatives to solve such broader issues of society and the public sector as environment/energy, infrastructure, and health care.

In today's changing environment, it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict the future course of developments in the economy, finance, and society. We have identified four key points for our initiatives in the current medium–term business plan and we aim to be the No. 1 Think Tank as the best team of experts capable of providing optimal solutions for our customers.

Major Initiatives

  1. (1)"Advance utility functions" though collaboration among our in–house companies to address increasingly complicated business issues of our customers
  2. (2)"Enhance One Think Tank brand value" through proactively promoting our advanced knowledge/know–how
  3. (3)"Advance global solutions to our customers" in the midst of rising uncertainty in the global business environment
  4. (4)"Promote a market–driven approach" from the viewpoint of "Customer First"

The true value of our unit will be evaluated by how we can respond to the changes in business environment surrounding Mizuho and our customers, especially to rapid digital innovation.

As One Think Tank, we will further enhance our strengths in digital technology fields such as IT and data analysis, in order to support both Mizuho's own innovation and the growth of our customers.

We will help our customers expand their business and increase efficiency by applying digital technology, for example, sophisticated big data analysis for marketing support and AI–based or Fintech solutions.

Other initiatives will include using ICT to develop online channels that are highly accessible and offer a larger number of customers the information and solutions we have developed as One Think Tank. Also, we will aim to improve the contents and convenience of Mizuho's corporate membership service which is one of the largest in scale among Japanese banks.

We will continue to evolve as One Think Tank and, in addition to the knowledge we have garnered from our research and consulting activities, adopt new digital technologies to be developed which will be a key factor in this further evolution.

Fiscal 2016 Results and Plans for Fiscal 2017 and Beyond

We positioned fiscal 2016, the first year of One Think Tank, as the year to establish a foundation for our utility function by concentrating the group's research and consulting functions and establishing a structure for in–house companies to work in collaboration. Over this one–year period, the Research & Consulting Unit has put highest priority on having customers and in–house companies make use of the unit's utility functions.

The unit has increased the use of its research capabilities in and outside Japan. This was accomplished through the release of One Think Tank reports, including reports on Brexit and the US presidential election which were highly evaluated for their timeliness and quality, and the holding of the One Think Tank Forum, which provided a venue for presenting ideas regarding the Japanese economy and society in the year 2020. To respond to the issues of individual customers and provide optimal solutions on a fee and non–fee basis, the unit also collaborated with the in–house companies to provide consulting. As such, we have managed to gain a firm foothold in our activities as One Think Tank.

On the other hand, as uncertainty over the economy, finance, and society continues to grow, customers' expectations regarding research and consulting functions are increasing. To meet these expectations, we believe that it will be important for the unit to create an even more solid foundation for its activities.

In its research functions, the unit provides top quality information in Japan related to politics, economy and industry. Also, in global research, the unit is working to achieve greater differentiation by strengthening its ties with related parties in and outside of the unit.

In its consulting functions, the current and latent needs of customers are increasing in a broad range of fields. The unit is giving close attention to such issues as business succession, which is become increasingly important along with the aging of business owners, and transformation of organizational and HR systems that are needed for flexible work arrangements. Looking ahead, the unit will expand its capabilities for responding to these consulting needs. Building on the foundations laid in fiscal 2016, the unit will work to achieve greater collaboration and fusion among its internal resources and pursue greater depth and breadth in its One Think Tank initiatives in fiscal 2017.

As we pursue our market–driven approach, aimed at closely allying with customer needs, we will also take initiatives in digital innovation with a view to our long–term growth strategy. At the same time, we will give priority to strengthening our capabilities for meeting expanding research and consulting needs and working to achieve greater expertise in our global research.

To strengthen our capabilities for meeting expanding research and consulting needs, we will reinforce our consulting team and work to optimize the allocation of resources within our unit, with the goals of enabling the unit as a whole to respond to increasing needs. In addition, we will enhance the consulting capabilities at frontline offices of each in–house company.

To achieve greater expertise in our global research, we will focus our efforts especially on Asia. In fiscal 2017, we will focus on providing support to Japanese companies expanding outside Japan and non–Japanese companies entering Japanese and other Asian markets. To this end, we will strengthen our knowledge of Asia outside Japan, and collaborate with our group's in–house companies.

We will continue to address various issues facing our customers which are becoming more diverse, complex, and global in scope by consolidating capabilities within the unit and enhancing collaboration with in–house companies, thereby strengthen our presence as One Think Tank.

1. Current Environment

External Environment

Economy, Regulations, and Competition
  • Increasingly unpredictable economic, financial, and social environment, which is undergoing rapid changes
  • Increasing convergence of strategies of our competitors
Customers
  • Increasing needs to pass on businesses/assets to the next generation with aging of proprietors
Society
  • Emergence of new business fields along with rapid digital innovation
  • Expanding opportunities in public–private partnerships, with the trend of increased private–sector participation in government projects

Internal Conditions

Strengths
  • Research function with broad coverage ranging from macroeconomy to industry trends
  • Consulting functions with broad coverage ranging from management/financial strategy to environment, social security, IT, and healthcare
  • Expertise in technology fields, including IT systems and data analysis
  • Broad customer relationship through the largest corporate membership organization among Japanese banks
Challenges
  • Shortage of resources to cope with broadening research and consulting needs
  • Fusion of innovative technology with consulting business
  • Research and consulting network to cope with globalization

2. Value Creation

Value for Customers

  • Contribute to customers' growth strategies by offering comprehensive solutions encompassing digital technology
  • Help customers formulate growth strategies, with comprehensive measures ranging from high–level debate based on in–house industry research to advice on reorganization and its financial implications
  • Provide comprehensive know–how to wide–ranging customers covering SMEs, middle–market corporations, and business owners through our corporate membership service
  • Provide institutional investors with decision–making support through industry–leading analyst research

Value for Society

  • Contribute to the revitalization of regions and the fostering of next–generation growth industries by making use of respective expertise of MHBK's Industry Research Department, MHIR, and MHRI
  • Contribute to addressing social, infrastructure, and environmental issues globally through provision of PPP/PFI advisory services based on knowledge of public policy
  • Help to navigate through increasingly uncertain social and economic conditions through reports and forums that transmit high–level expertise and know–how in a range of areas, from economic/social trends to structural changes in industries and in individual fields such as the environment, social security, and IT

3. Business Plans

Risk Appetite Policy

  • Provide optimal solutions based on the risk appetite policies of the individual in–house companies and address customer issues linked to increasing uncertainty

Action Plans

  • Move One Think Tank solutions and technologies forward through accelerating collaboration/fusion within our unit
  • To support the growth of our customers, establish a new membership organization named "MIZUHO Membership One" that incorporates Mizuho's present corporate membership system
  • Strengthen the unit's overall capabilities through optimal allocation of management resources inside and outside the unit and, thereby, meet increasing needs for research and consulting

2016 HIGHLIGHTS

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  • *Nikkei Veritas Analyst Popularity Ranking (Issued March 19, 2017)

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  • 1.Nikkei Veritas Bond and FX Analyst/Economist Popularity Poll (Issued March 26, 2017)
  • 2.The No. 3 ranking from 2013 to 2015 held by BNP Paribas Securities

Solutions that Support Sustainable Growth for Our Customers and Society

Support for Developing Countries through Commercialization of Agricultural Business in Rwanda, Africa

MHIR launched MIZUHO Global Agri–Innovation program to support Japanese agribusiness overseas. As its symbolic project, MHIR is undertaking the commercialization of gentian and sunflowers in Rwanda jointly with Toyota Motor and other listed Japanese companies, universities, and government ministries. This project has greatly contributed to creating a sustainable growth model for developing countries using Japanese agricultural technology.

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Presentation of a One Think Tank Forum as a Tokyo 2020 Nationwide Participation Program

Mizuho is a Tokyo 2020 Gold Banking Partner and together with Nihon Keizai Shimbun, which is a Tokyo 2020 Official Partner in the newspapers category, held the "Mizuho One Think Tank & Nikkei 2020 Forum." This forum was the first Tokyo 2020 Nationwide Participation Program held by sponsoring companies from the fields of economy and technology. Mizuho, together with members of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, made keynote addresses, presenting the unique perspective of One Think Tank on the theme of how Japan should be moving forward in the coming years.

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Contributing to Increasing Service Value Added by Applying Knowledge in Digital Technology

MHIR is drawing on its strengths in digital technology to help its customers promote sophistication of marketing methods and logistics systems. One example of this is the start–up of the world's largest joint taxi dispatching service in a single city that makes use of a common platform for realtime location tracking. Using a smartphone application, this service matches user location and vehicle movement data to enable the best vehicle distribution across taxi companies.

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Contributing as a Pioneer in PPP/PFI Advisory

MHRI has a proven track record of undertaking a broad range of joint public–private sector projects, including airports, seaports, water supply, and wastewater treatment facilities. In fiscal 2016, MHRI received the mandate to provide advisory services for the privatization of the concession for Kumamoto Airport. In rebuilding the airport, which had been damaged by a series of earthquakes in April 2016, MHRI played an advisory role in drafting the reconstruction plan and designing the concession scheme. The project served as a symbol of Kumamoto’s recovery from the disaster and contributed to the region's economic recovery.

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