Nomura's Schiffman Plans Hiring Push for `Full Scale' U.S. Investment Bank

Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest brokerage, may hire as many as 35 bankers in the U.S. this year, part of a push to become a global securities firm rivaling Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG.

The firm plans to have about 100 bankers in the U.S. by the end of 2010, from about 65 currently, Glenn Schiffman, Nomura’s head of Americas investment banking, said in an interview this week at the firm’s New York headquarters at the World Financial Center. It has already recruited 50 bankers, he said.

Nomura is investing 250 billion yen ($2.74 billion) to expand in the U.S. after it bought Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s Asian and European units in 2008. Chief Executive Officer Kenichi Watanabe said in April that he aims to transform Nomura, which generates most of its revenue in Japan, into a global financial firm.

“We are in the early stages of creating a full scale investment bank in the U.S.,” said Schiffman, 40, a former Lehman banker who helped manage the sale of Lehman’s assets to Nomura and led the integration of the businesses in Asia.

Nomura said this week it hired Deutsche Bank AG’s Mark Epley as co-head of a unit that advises on mergers and acquisitions for buyout firms. Earlier this month, it recruited Michael Hill and James DeNaut from Deutsche Bank as co-heads of global natural resources, based in New York, according to two people close to the situation. The firm in May appointed Bank of America Corp.’s Simon Western as a managing director in the financial services institutions group.

Competing for Talent

“Nomura faces market competition for similar talent, but their advantage is that they are willing to pay attractively,” said Robert Sloan, head of U.S. financial-services recruiting at Egon Zehnder International, an executive search firm.

Schiffman started his career in 1991 at Lehman, where he oversaw financings and mergers and acquisitions worth more than $100 billion. He was responsible for Lehman’s cable business from 1996 to 1999 and later ran the global media group. He relocated to Hong Kong in 2007. That experience may help Schiffman win business in the U.S.

“Natural resources, financial institutions and industrials are our priority sectors because they represent 65 percent of fees,” said Schiffman. “Consumer, media and technology are the other sectors in which we want to expand.”

Cross-Border M&A

Nomura ranks 15th among global takeover advisers this year, with $37 billion of deals, up from 19th in the same period a year ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. New York- based Goldman Sachs is first, with $156 billion of deals, followed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Zurich-based Credit Suisse.

Nomura helped advise Spain’s Grifols SA on its $3 billion agreement last week to buy Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdings Corp., together with Deutsche Bank and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA. It also advised Jupiter Telecommunications Co. on the company’s $1.3 billion joint venture with Sumitomo Corp.

As head of investment banking, Schiffman is overseeing Nomura’s U.S. mergers and acquisitions business and predicts that cross-border deals will increase in volume.

“Tapping this trend is part of Nomura’s growth strategy,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Serena Saitto in New York at ssaitto@bloomberg.net.

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