Late Lunchtime Links: A mistaken suggestion that London is about to become a mere branch office for Nomura, and that New York could become something worse

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In the branch office

In the branch office (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

When Kenichi Watanabe was instated as Nomura's chief executive in 2008, he was all for London. London would be the hub for Nomura's international operation, said Watanabe. From London, Nomura would originate products (invent or structure products) for use in international markets. From London, Nomura would run its global risk management operation.

The fact that Koji Nagai, Nomura’s new chief executive, told the Financial Times at the weekend that Tokyo will now be the international base for Nomura and that London's importance will decline, therefore sounds a little ominous. It also sounds troublesome for Nomura bankers in New York, who may already be feeling a little insecure following last week's unexpected departure of Ciaran O'Kelly, the man hired in 2009 to lead the expansion of Nomura's US equities business: the implication is that they will now be managed by people in a time zone 13 hours behind their own.

It may not be that bad, however. Nomura declined to comment on Nagai's FT interview, but we understand it may be erroneous and that no big changes are planned. Benoit Savoret, global head of Nomura's equities business, continues to be based in London. So does the ever-powerful Steve Ashley, head of the FICC business. So does William Vereker, who was global co-head of investment banking until he mysteriously stepped down to take on a vice chairman role.  

Nevertheless, something does seem to be afoot. Even if Nomura's not relegating London to a mere investment banking corner shop, it is looking at the way it books trades, and may opt to shift some of the booking activities currently located in London elsewhere. This could surely have implications for operations and technology roles in the years to come.


Nomura’s new chief executive says (in incomprehensible English): “ We don't need high-profile names or business track record—they don't do for our customers.” (WSJ) 

Occitan Capital Partners, a hedge fund which  invests in equities and equity derivatives, has hired two senior traders from Nomura. (Financial News)

Deutsche seems to have been dispensing with senior M&A bankers. Overall around 25% of its redundancies seem to have been MDs. (Financial News)

Deutsche Bank will be making people redundant in the Middle East. (eFinancialCareers Gulf) 

Anshu Jain acknowledged that attractive salaries had helped Deutsche’s expansion in investment banking but suggested the bank was now in more of a position to show restraint on pay. “We are one of the leading banks . . . it will be very difficult for our competitors to ignore what we do,” he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. (Financial Times) 

Werner Wenning, a member of Deutsche Bank's supervisory board, says there should be caps on bankers' bonuses and that: "No manager, and no investment banker, needs double-digit million pay." (Reuters) 

Adoboli will claim he was not acting dishonestly and that colleagues on his desk knew what he had been doing. (Telegraph) 

Revenues at PWC’s consulting division rose 13% last year. Overall, PWC said it recruited 2,300 workers last year, including 1,200 graduates, 100 school-leavers and 61 new partners. (Telegraph) 

China Construction Bank is looking for a bank in Europe to buy and has $15.8bn to spend. (Financial Times)  

Bank of Montreal has trimmed 200 jobs in the US. (Bloomberg) 

Normally, banks cutting staff is a sign the cycle’s about to turn, says a senior banker. Not any more. (The Economist) 

If you want your colleagues to help you out, you are advised to attend a corporate drumming workshop. (NY Times) 

Cooperation is driven by zealots. (Nature)