Nomura Said to Cut Team of Proprietary Stock Traders

Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604) cut a team of London proprietary traders focused on stocks as Japan’s largest brokerage scales back in Europe, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The group of about five traders was part of Nomura’s Angel Lane Principal Strategies, a unit that makes speculative wagers on markets with capital provided by the Tokyo-based bank, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the job cuts haven’t been announced. The team departing this week was led by Anthony Medina, a volatility trader who used options to bet on fluctuations in the prices of stocks, the people said.

The departures are part of Nomura’s plan to reduce costs by $1 billion, with almost half the savings coming from Europe. The revamp in strategy follows a four-year struggle to build a business overseas following the purchase of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s European and Asian units in 2008.

Angel Lane Principal Strategies is overseen by Christian Dalban, who Nomura hired in 2010 from Israel Englander’s $16.5 billion U.S. hedge fund, Millennium Management LLC, said the people. After joining Nomura, Dalban began hiring from other banks at a time when competing firms were cutting or scaling back proprietary-trading desks to comply with a U.S. regulation known as the Volcker rule, which limits risk-taking.

A call to Medina’s work telephone wasn’t answered and he didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Redzi Mangwana, a spokeswoman for Nomura, declined to comment.

Closing Units

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), based in New York, began closing its proprietary trading units in September 2010, two months after the U.S. Congress approved the provision named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, which restricts banks with government-backed customer deposits from using a firm’s money to wager on markets.

Dalban, 47, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.

The name of the Nomura trading unit is derived from a 500,000-square-foot building on Angel Lane along the River Thames in London’s financial district that the bank moved into in April 2011. The new location “reflects our confidence in the future and also in London as one of the world’s pre-eminent financial centers,” Nomura says on its website.

Medina joined Nomura in November 2010 and is a managing director focused on volatility arbitrage, quant trading and risk arbitrage, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was previously head of European proprietary trading at Edinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, the profile says.

Nomura appointed Dalban head of equity trading for Europe, the Middle East and Africa when he joined in June 2010, the bank said at the time. He previously led New York-based Millennium’s European business and had been global co-head of equity derivatives for JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)

To contact the reporter on this story: Jesse Westbrook in London at jwestbrook1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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