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A top technology banker just resurfaced at Nomura in San Francisco

Chris Shilakes

Nomura has made a major addition to its U.S. operations with the hiring of Chris Shilakes from Bank of America Merrill Lynch as managing director of its technology investment banking group in San Francisco.

Shilakes is a technology veteran. In total, he’s spent over 20 years with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, most recently as head of venture capital banking, but previously as a technology salesman and technology researcher.  He’s also had a spell as a venture capital entrepreneur, having founded Blueshift Venture Advisors in San Francisco in January 2005, where he worked for two years before returning to banking at BAML.

Shilakes’ arrival at Nomura comes as the Japanese bank is seeking to boost its presence in U.S. M&A by hiring in new bankers, although it said in April that this may “take time.” 

Japanese companies made a record 339 overseas acquisitions between April and September, the first half of the Japanese fiscal year. That was up 14% on the previous year, though the total value was down more than 20%, mainly due to the effect of SoftBank’s £24.3b purchase of UK chipmaker ARM Holdings in 2016.

Shilakes appears to have decided to go directly to Nomura after his long career at BAML and hasn’t taken any time off. This is a surprise given an historic predilection for chilling out between jobs. The first time he left Merrill Lynch, in 2003 he told the Wall Street Journal he was taking six months off to drive U.S. “back roads” with his family.


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