Nomura has not just been making deep cuts to its equities business. In London, M&A has been impacted too and headhunters suggest that juniors have been particularly targeted.
Nomura’s natural resources team in particular has been slashed. At Nomura, natural resources means oil and gas, metals and mining and chemicals. There were 17 people before the cuts last week; just eight of whom reportedly now remain. Sources say this was a new team, with most people joining within the last year.
Senior bankers have gone, but headhunters suggest that analysts who only joined in September have also been targeted.
Nomura's cuts don't appear to have extended to senior members of the team. Euan Drysdale, head of EMEA metals and mining, Chris Carlisle, head of chemicals for EMEA and John Bigham, head of oil and gas investment banking, were all on the bank's database, but were not in when we called.
Nomura’s technology-focused M&A team is also undergoing changes. Jean-Baptiste Natali, managing director and head of the EMEA technology team, left in January to join BNP Paribas in Paris. Headhunters say Natali left for personal reasons.
Nomura didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. However, the Japanese bank has also been doing some hiring - last month it recruited Ritwik Samsi, a VP from Credit Suisse, to work in its FIG team, for example.
Nomura’s job cuts number 500-600 across the UK and US, with equity research, underwriting and derivatives closed entirely. Reports suggest that the total figure could be close to 1,000 jobs. More details will emerge when the bank announces its strategic plan on 27 April.
Nomura's cuts look incongruous alongside other banks' attempts to retain IBD juniors by cutting workloads and making work more interesting. Headhunters say the layoffs have affected morale across the whole team. “We’ve been receiving a lot of enquiries from analysts and associates at Nomura in the last week. There’s been a lot of pain in IBD, which seems a little short-termist considering most other banks are trying to retain their juniors,” says one London investment banking headhunter.
Another suggests that Nomura's juniors have the fear and are simply trying to protect their backs: “Most people we speak to now are just keeping their heads down and seeing how the cost-cutting plans work out. There’s a growing feeling of last-in-first-out; most people are staying put.”