While most investment banks have been struggling with tumbling revenues in their fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) divisions, Nomura has just announced its best performance in three years. Revenues were up by 24% in 2013, while most other firms have been posting double-digit declines. No surprise, then, that it’s one of the few firms hiring in this area.
In the last month, Ramon Baljé, head of fixed income sales for the Netherlands and Nordics at JPMorgan, and Craig Butterworth, who was head of fixed income sales for EMEA at RBC Capital Markets, have both joined the Japanese bank as managing directors in its fixed income sales team.
This is Baljé’s second stint at Nomura, having moved across from Lehman Brothers in 2008 and worked until December 2011, latterly as head of fixed income sales for Northern Europe, when he moved across to JPMorgan. He left the role in September last year, but only joined Nomura in April, according to regulatory filings.
While banks like Barclays and Deutsche Bank prepare to cut hundreds from their fixed income teams – the former predominantly at managing director and director level –Nomura has been bringing in senior fixed income sales staff this year.
Paddy Power, who was head of mid-markets rates and credit sales at Royal Bank of Scotland, joined Nomura in January in the same position.
Nomura’s willingness to continue to invest in senior fixed income staff may be down to the fact that this part of the business defied the downturn. In its 2013 report, Nomura said: “Our Fixed Income franchise reported market share gains across all major products and delivered its best performance in three years, driven by steady client flows on the back of worldwide monetary easing.”
As we’ve pointed to numerous times before, Nomura’s appeal as a place to work for FICC sales and trading staff has been down in a large part to the lure of rates and FX trading supremo Steve Ashley, who joined as head of global markets from RBS in 2010 and has succeeded in bringing across a number of top staff from his former employer.
Nomura has also been bringing in sales staff for other divisions. In February, Michael Ward joined as head of European equity sales, Jonathan Harding as head of emerging markets sales and Henry McWatter as a managing director in UK equity derivatives sales.
Nomura didn’t respond to requests for comment.