Mizuho Plans to Expand U.S. Staff by 10%, Promotes Dewing

  • Mizuho may expand number of traders, investment bankers by 10%
  • Japanese bank expands as global competitors shut operations

Mizuho Financial Group Inc. promoted Andrew Dewing to lead corporate and investment banking in North America as the firm seeks to expand the number of professionals in the region by at least 10 percent this year.

Dewing, whose newly created role begins on April 1, was previously the head of corporate finance in the U.S. at Mizuho Bank and reports to Hiroshi Suehiro, the company said in an e-mailed statement. The 10 percent expansion will build on a team of about 700 “front office” staff at both Mizuho’s securities and investment banking divisions in North America, according to Gerald Rizzieri, who leads Mizuho Securities USA.

Mizuho is seeking growth beyond its home country of Japan by expanding trading, underwriting and advice on mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. as rival firms scale back operations. Talent has fled European firms that have struggled due to tighter capital standards, such as Credit Suisse Group AG, which is seeking to speed up and deepen cuts in its investment bank. Japan’s biggest brokerage, Nomura Holdings Inc., may dismiss about 20 percent of its workforce in North America, people familiar with the matter said this month.

‘Huge Opportunity’

"We are now going through another crisis. European banks need to rethink their strategy," Dewing said Wednesday in an interview at Mizuho’s Park Avenue office in New York. “This is a huge opportunity for a bank like ours.”

Dewing’s division has expanded revenue and profit by 300 percent since he began leading U.S. corporate finance in 2013, he said. He was at Bank of America Corp. for more than 20 years before joining Mizuho in 2007 as head of European corporate finance. Managing directors Michael Keating and Donald Sutton were promoted to co-lead sector coverage for banking, while John Humphreys is taking on many of Dewing’s prior corporate finance responsibilities and was also promoted to lead advisory and solutions.

Rizzieri was promoted to lead Mizuho Securities USA this month when John Koudounis departed to become chief executive officer of Calamos Investments. He joined Mizuho in 2010 and previously worked at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. for 23 years and then at Barclays Plc.

His division and Dewing’s have secured work on some of the largest debt offerings last year, including underwriting Actavis Plc’s more-than-$21 billion bond sale to help finance its takeover of Allergan Inc. They also worked on the drugmaker’s equity offerings that raised about $9 billion. The firm this year is the No. 10 corporate bond underwriter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

CLOs, ABS

Mizuho’s fixed-income team also specializes in higher margin products such as collateralized loan obligations, asset-backed securities and junk debt, Rizzieri said. Last year, the bank bought assets from Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and brought on about 130 of its bankers in the U.S.

“Integrating areas of the bank that touch our U.S. and Canadian clients under Andrew’s leadership furthers our goal to be a top-tier corporate and investment bank in North America,” Suehiro said in the statement.

Mizuho isn’t seeking to be a large cash-management firm, Dewing said, and instead plans to build flow businesses such as trade finance and securitization. The firm has been expanding divisions including research, interest rates, derivatives and equity capital markets, while also looking to work on large, cross-border transactions, the two executives said.

“We’re filling a void,” Rizzieri said. “As certain of our competitors retrench, many clients are losing decade-old relationships and are looking for stable partners. We are that stable partner.” 

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