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February 12, 2016

Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.

Policies Regarding Mizuho's Fiduciary Duties

Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. (President & CEO: Yasuhiro Sato) ("Mizuho") has established its Policies Regarding Mizuho's Fiduciary Duties in the interests of stating clear policies for and making a stronger response with regard to the practice of the organization's fiduciary duties* as a corporate group.

  • *Fiduciary duties is a general term for the broad range of various roles and responsibilities that fiduciaries are expected to fulfill when engaging in certain business activities in order to live up to the trust that is placed in them by their customers. The term appears–as a loan word in Japanese–in the Financial Service Agency's Strategic Directions and Priorities.

Mizuho Financial Group has established our ambition to continue being our customers' most trusted long–term financial partner as the vision of Mizuho's Corporate Identity. In working to achieve this vision, Mizuho employees share a common set of five central values–called the Mizuho Values–starting with putting our customers first. As a team of finance professionals providing a broad range of financial services, Mizuho is committed to fulfilling our fiduciary duties in providing the best, most appropriate solutions in response to our customers' diverse needs.

Strong capabilities in product development, sales, asset management, and asset administration are indispensible to the successful conduct of asset management–related business. As a comprehensive financial services group, Mizuho Financial Group is dedicated to speed and flexibility in our responses to the constantly changing, diverse needs of our broad range of clients–from individual investors to pension funds, regional financial institutions, and other institutional investors–which are made possible by our full complement of group companies with the expertise in banking, trust banking, securities, and asset management required to provide top–tier asset management–related products and services.

Each of Mizuho's group companies specializes in a different function, and as a long–term partner in providing appropriate products and services that are in our customers' best interests, and in seeking to continue to be our customers' most trusted financial services group, Mizuho has established and announced our response policies for each function and the following group management policies as our action plan for fulfilling our fiduciary duties with respect to asset management–related business, and we are taking customer–oriented measures to implement these policies.

Group Management Policies

In fulfilling our fiduciary duties, Mizuho Financial Group prioritizes our customers' interests above all else. We comply with the following group management policies when providing products and services which meet our customers' needs and are in their best interests.

  1. 1.Corporate Governance
    • Mizuho Financial Group has established–at the holding company level–a corporate governance system which holds the group's management accountable and encourages them to practice self–discipline. In the context of asset management–related business as well, the group will build governance systems to ensure the appropriate levels of independence between the holding company and the group's asset management companies, and between the group's sales companies and asset management companies.
    • In addition to establishing and disclosing specific plans of action on the part of each group company, the compliance departments shall report to the board of directors and other relevant parties the state of compliance pursuant to the Policies Regarding Mizuho's Fiduciary Duties.
  2. 2.Evaluating Performance
    • An appropriate performance review system will be established at each group company to evaluate initiatives which meet our customers' needs and are in their best interests.
  3. 3.The Rationality of Remuneration, Etc.
    • Rational levels of remuneration, fees and commissions. shall be set according to the nature of the products and services provided to customers.
  4. 4.Monitoring Conflicts of Interest
    • We will enhance monitoring of intra–group conflicts of interest.

Policies by Function: Sales

  • 1.Building Appropriate Product Lines in Response to Customers' Needs
    • (1)Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Trust & Banking, and Mizuho Securities aim to provide customers with excellent investment opportunities on a group basis.
    • (2)Based on our customers' investment objectives, Mizuho will thoroughly review our existing products and consider adopting new products which help customers to steadily build their assets.
  • 2.Providing Investment Products to Customers via Consulting Services
    • (1)In order to appropriately understand our customers' respective investment goals, Mizuho will strive to accurately assess the state of our customers' assets and liabilities and their tolerance for risk.
    • (2)Mizuho will provide consulting services based on pertinent, high–quality information to improve our customers' understanding of the characteristics of various products, including each product's risks and fees and commissions.
    • (3)We will make earnest efforts to enhance our consulting capabilities and pursue new methods of making proposals using the latest technologies to sustainably provide high value–added services.
    • (4)We will promote a high degree of transparency in setting fees and commissions in the interest of providing high value–added services at a reasonable cost.
  • 3.Attentive Follow–Up Service to Help Customers Achieve Their Goals
    • (1)Through attentive follow up services, we will provide information and advice to assist customers in making appropriate investment decisions.
    • (2)We will strive to reliably execute and improve our business activities so that customers can invest with confidence.
  • 4.Laying Foundations to Help Customers Invest with Confidence and Steadily Build Their Assets
    • (1)We plan to enhance useful services which help to improve the financial and investment knowledge of our customers.
    • (2)We will strive to share an understanding of our customers' respective investment goals, and to enhance personnel development as an organization in order to provide consulting services of the highest standard.

Policies by Function: Asset Management & Product Development

  • 1.Enhancing Asset Management
    • (1)Mizuho will aim to provide added value of the highest standard to our customers by enhancing investment analysis and decision–making capabilities through further reinforcements to our personnel base and asset management foundations.
    • (2)To continue to provide optimal solutions to our customers' asset management needs, we will continuously pursue improvements in existing asset management methods and new methods and investment opportunities.
  • 2.Initiatives to Continuously Improve Product Quality and Develop New Products Based on Customers' Needs
    • (1)Through appropriate risk management and checking of products, Mizuho will continuously improve the quality of our products and respond to changes in the market environment.
    • (2)With our understanding of our customers' needs and our expertise as asset management professionals, we will develop products which help our customers to steadily build their assets.
    • (3)In seeking to provide superior products at a reasonable cost, we will take a customer–oriented view and promote a high degree of transparency in setting management fees.
  • 3.Enhancing the Provision of Information and Services from the Customer's Perspective
    • (1)In an effort to become our customers' most trusted confidant, Mizuho will practice the highest quality of service.
    • (2)We will prioritize convenience and ease of understanding in providing customers with the most appropriate information.
    • (3)We plan to enhance useful services which help to improve the financial and investment knowledge of our customers.
  • 4.Strengthening Corporate Governance
    • (1)In an effort to further strengthen our organizational structure in consideration of our customers' best interests, Mizuho will build a corporate governance system that is of the highest standard in its industry and ensures the independence of the asset management entities.
    • (2)Decisions pertaining new product development will be made based on objective evaluations and highly transparent processes, which will include the involvement of the compliance divisions.

Policies by Function: Asset Administration

  • 1.Strengthening the System for Providing Asset Administration Services
    • (1)Our customers' asset management needs are becoming increasingly more refined and more globalized. In response, Mizuho will continuously advance initiatives to enhance our operational and IT infrastructure and develop personnel with a high degree of specialized expertise, so that we can continue to provide for our customers the same consistently high quality asset administration services such as custody, settlement, and various forms of reporting with regard to customers' assets entrusted to us.
  • 2.Initiatives to Improve Service Quality and Develop New Services
    • (1)So that customers can be comfortable with entrusting their assets to us, Mizuho practices proper administration of trust assets, and continuously works to develop new services in a broad range of fields pertaining to asset administration with the ultimate aim of providing optimal solutions in anticipation of customers' increasingly diversified and complex needs.
    • (2)We regularly examine the processes for setting asset administration fees to ensure that they reflect the nature of the services we provide to our customers.
  • 3.Enhancing the Provision of Information in Support of Customers' Investment Activities
    • (1)In addition to accurately reporting the state of assets in trust, Mizuho will strive to enrich our various services for providing information to investors to enhance their investment management efforts.
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