Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest securities firm, said it plans to increase fixed-income sales staff in Asia, the Americas and Europe even as it continues to cut costs.
Chief Operating Officer Atsushi Yoshikawa revealed the plans at a meeting with investors in Tokyo yesterday, without giving numbers or a timeframe. The additions will be mainly made through hiring as well as the reassignment of existing staff, Yoshikawa told Bloomberg News after a press briefing. The firm later announced the hiring of two managing directors for foreign exchange and interest-rates sales in the Americas.
Nomura has been focusing on fixed income to spark a profit recovery outside of Japan as Chief Executive Officer Koji Nagai implements his $1 billion cost-reduction program. The Tokyo-based bank posted a pretax loss abroad last quarter, even as a domestic stock market boom fueled fees and commissions that helped to generate the highest net income in seven years.
Yoshikawa said sales staff will be added in areas including rates, credit, currencies and securitized products. “We’re often faced with a shortage of staff to reach clients” including hedge funds, he told reporters.
Nomura will strengthen investment banking in the U.S. by bolstering coverage of the health and technology industries, he said. The company will hire if it finds any good bankers as “there are business opportunities,” he added.
The firm recruited Eric Miller as head of interest-rates sales for the Americas and Tom Haskins as head of foreign exchange sales for the region, it said in a statement. Miller was most recently at Credit Suisse Group AG and Haskins worked for Morgan Stanley, according to Nomura.
The effects of the cost-cutting initiative will begin to be seen in the second half of the year ending March, Nomura said earlier in a presentation to investors. The bank targets 50 billion yen ($486 million) in overseas pretax profit from wholesale operations by the year ending March 2016, it said.
Yoshikawa also said the company is considering alliances with several potential partners in Asia outside of Japan. Nomura is working on about 10 equity offerings in the region and the pipeline is expanding, he said.
Nomura raised a goal for retail assets under management to 100 trillion yen by March 2016, it said in the presentation. The bank achieved the previous target of 90 trillion yen last month as investors flocked to Japanese stocks amid unprecedented monetary easing by the central bank.
The stock rally took a hit today, with the benchmark Topix Index tumbling 6.9 percent, the most since March 2011, after government bond yields spiked and a report showed Chinese manufacturing shrank. Nomura plunged 8.2 percent, paring this year’s advance to 75 percent.
Net income more than tripled to 82.4 billion yen in the three months ended March, the highest since 2006, Nomura reported last month. Still, its pretax loss from overseas widened to 42 billion yen from 24.6 billion yen a year earlier, led by Europe.