Nomura’s Akedo Said to Be Asia Equities Head as Adair Quits

Nomura’s John Adair Said to Resign as Co-Head of Asia Equities
A pedestrian walks past a Nomura Securities Co. branch in Tokyo, Japan. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Nomura Holdings Inc.’s Norikazu Akedo will become the sole head of Asia-Pacific equities after joint chief John Adair resigned, said two people with knowledge of the situation.

Adair, a managing director based in Hong Kong, stepped down yesterday and will leave Japan’s biggest brokerage early next year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Akedo, 46, is a senior managing director who has also been in charge of Japan equities.

Nomura has been consolidating jointly held management roles as it targets $1 billion of cost savings. London-based Piero Novelli resigned as co-head of global mergers and acquisitions, a company memo showed last month. Koji Nagai, who became chief executive officer in August, has pledged to make Asia a focus of the Tokyo-based bank’s overseas operations.

“Nomura has been in transition since the CEO changed,” said Futoshi Sasaki, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. in Tokyo. “Asia has business opportunities but it will take time for them to bear fruit.”

Akedo joined Nomura Securities Co. in 1989 after graduating from Keio University. He became head of Japan equities in 2011 and a senior managing director at the brokerage unit this year.

Adair joined Nomura from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in October 2008, when it acquired the bankrupt Wall Street firm’s Asian and European businesses as part of a global expansion that has failed to generate sustained profit abroad. Under Nagai, Nomura plans to become profitable in all regions by March 2015.

Asia Focus

Kenji Yamashita, a spokesman for Nomura in Tokyo, declined to comment on Adair’s resignation. A call to Adair’s direct phone line was answered by a person who declined to be identified and referred inquiries to the company’s press office.

Kenji Kimura was named global head of M&A to replace Novelli, who will leave the firm to “pursue other interests,” according to the Nov. 12 memo.

Nomura plans to expand revenue from Asia-related businesses by selling stocks and mutual funds from the region to Japanese retail clients, Nagai said in a presentation to investors on Dec. 3. It’s approaching sovereign wealth funds, central banks and governments in Asia for asset management.

The firm also aims to underwrite initial public offerings in Asia for affiliates of Japanese companies with a market value of at least $1 billion, according to the presentation.

Nomura ranks sixth among managers of equity offerings in Asia including Japan this year, arranging 60 transactions valued at $7.9 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. UBS AG is the top equity underwriter in Asia for 2012, followed by Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley.

“Nomura would benefit if it can tap Japanese individuals and their ample cash to invest in Asian companies, which require funds to grow further,” said Sasaki at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley.

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