Nomura’s Meissner Quits; Jotwani Named European CEO

Nomura Holdings Inc.’s deputy global investment banking head, Christian Meissner, quit less than two years after he arranged the sale of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s European unit to the Japanese brokerage.

Tarun Jotwani, Nomura’s global head of fixed income, will become chief executive officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa next month, the bank said in an internal memorandum today. William Vereker and Hiroyuki Suzuki will become joint global heads of investment banking.

Meissner leaves a month after Nomura named Jesse Bhattal president of a new wholesale division in a bid to stem the flow of departures by former Lehman bankers. Jotwani, who will report to Bhattal, replaces Sadeq Sayeed, who said last month he would step down as CEO of Nomura’s European operations.

“Tarun has a strong record of building profitable businesses, and I am confident in his ability to build on our already strong platform in Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” Bhattal said in the memo. Jotwani was formerly head of capital markets for Lehman in Asia.

Nomura acquired Lehman’s European and Asian equities and investment banking units after the U.S. firm collapsed in 2008 to expand worldwide. The firm earned more from its international division in the fiscal second quarter than from its home country for the first time.

Merrill Move?

Meissner, who quit today, is in talks to move to Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Europe, and may take on the role of head of European investment banking, said a person familiar with his plans, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. Meissner didn’t return a call to his mobile phone, and a spokeswoman for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London declined to comment.

Meissner was head of European investment banking for Lehman before being named co-CEO of Lehman in Europe the same month the firm filed for bankruptcy. He joined Lehman in 2003 from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. where he had been co-head of European equity capital markets, advising companies including Siemens AG and Infineon Technologies AG.

Nomura is fighting to retain former Lehman bankers after acquiring the U.S. firm’s European operations. Sigurbjorn Thorkelsson, Nomura’s head of equities for Asia Pacific, and Thomas Siegmund, the firm’s co-head of fixed income for Asia outside Japan, are among senior bankers that have quit since bonuses negotiated at the time of the sale were paid to former Lehman executives.

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