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Nomura Names Patel, Rietbrock as Co-Heads of Equities

Nomura Names Patel, Rietbrock Co-Heads of Equities Americas
The Americas contributed 35.5 billion yen ($456 million), or 29 percent, to Nomura’s fiscal first-quarter global wholesale net revenue, which includes investment banking, fixed-income and equities trading. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest brokerage, named Samir Patel and Michael Rietbrock co-heads of Americas equities to replace Ciaran O’Kelly as the firm recalibrates its overseas operations.

Patel, who joined Nomura from Bank of America Corp. in 2009 as co-head of derivative sales, has been in charge of execution sales the last two years, David Findlay, chief executive officer of the Americas unit, wrote today in a memo obtained by Bloomberg News. Rietbrock, 43, joined the firm in 2010 from Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America as head of U.S. equity research. Patel and Rietbrock’s new positions are effective immediately.

O’Kelly, 44, is leaving Nomura as the Tokyo-based bank overhauls international operations as part of plan to make them profitable by June 2014. CEO Koji Nagai, 53, is cutting $210 million in expenses in the Americas. The changes follow a four-year effort to build a presence abroad, beginning with the 2008 purchase of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s European and Asian units.

“These changes are the natural next step after last week’s global equities reorganization,” O’Kelly said in a statement. “After a combined 25 years of working with Mike and Samir, I know the business is in very capable hands.”

Hong Kong

O’Kelly “had a mandate to spend a lot of money” when he was recruited to Nomura, and his departure comes as the priorities change, said Richard Lipstein, managing director of search firm Gilbert Tweed International in New York. O’Kelly, previously global head of equities at Bank of America, will remain at Nomura through the end of the year, Findlay wrote in a separate memo yesterday.

Makram Fares, Nomura’s co-head of European equity sales and equity derivatives, departed earlier this week ahead of cutbacks in the firm’s Europe and Asia units, according to two people briefed on the matter. More than a dozen bankers in equities have been eliminated in Hong Kong, while a small number in equity sales and trading may be moved to Instinet Inc., an alternative trading platform controlled by Nomura, one of the people said.

Among the executives cut in Hong Kong are Nick Heather, head of program trading in Asia Pacific, and Ivan Lee, head of research for industries such as power, metals and mining outside Japan, according to the people. Richard Gittus, an executive director in research sales in Hong Kong, also left this week, the people said.

‘Less Liquidity’

Nomura expanded its workforce in the Americas to 2,350 from 900 in March 2009.

The Americas contributed 35.5 billion yen ($456 million), or 29 percent, to Nomura’s fiscal first-quarter global wholesale net revenue, which includes investment banking, fixed-income and equities trading. That compares with 42.5 billion yen, or 27 percent, in the previous quarter ended March 31, which was the Americas wholesale division’s strongest since Nomura began building its U.S. operation in April 2009.

The global wholesale unit reported an 8.6 billion yen loss before income taxes in the fiscal first quarter, and the bank said equities and investment-banking revenue was “affected by less liquidity in major markets and fewer revenue opportunities,” according to a July presentation.

Nomura generated 161.7 billion yen ($2.1 billion) in global equity trading revenue in the 12 months ended June 30. That compares with $3.2 billion at Bank of America and $5.6 billion at Morgan Stanley.

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