Japanese banks don’t have a great reputation as stayers in the investment banking world. Nomura’s endeavours in London are a case in point: after several build-ups and wind-downs in the 1990s and early 2000s, Nomura made a push at international banking elitism with the engagement of Lehman’s equities bankers post-2008. That didn’t work out, and now Nomura’s refocusing on Japan. It cut 552 people in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the 12 months to June 2012.
Skeptics can therefore be forgiven for questioning the growth plans of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International (MUSI), the capital markets business of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the Tokyo-based banking group. It says it wants to develop its business globally next year. A spokeswoman for the firm in London says “continued growth” is predicted in the City next year but that the core focus for 2013 will be growing the investment banking business in Asia and the US and expanding the bank’s “product reach” in the process.
The bank declined to say how many people it intends to hire. It also plans to introduce graduate recruitment programmes in New York and Hong Kong in 2013.Like most banks, Mitsubishi trimmed in London after the financial crisis, cutting 15% of staff in 2008 according to reports at the time.
Mitsubishi’s international investment banking growth plans follow the appointment of Cliff De Souza, former CEO of MUSI in London, as head of the international business in April 2012. De Souza was previously senior investment officer for Citigroup’s internal hedge funds.
Mitsubishi UFJ Securities has 170 FSA approved employees working in London according to the FSA register. This number has remained stable throughout 2012. The bank currently operates across capital markets, fixed income, structured products, commodities and equities. It isn’t active in M&A and we understand there are no plans to push into this area.