Nomura Said to Cut Team of Proprietary Stock Traders

Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest brokerage, is considering closing Angel Lane Principal Strategies, which speculates on markets with capital provided by the lender, four people with knowledge of the talks said.

The review of the division’s future may come within two weeks, said the people, who declined to be identified because a decision hasn’t been reached. The review isn’t related to ALPS’s performance, one of the people said. The unit cut about 15 jobs in London this week and seven from its New York office last week, the people said.

Angel Lane Principal Strategies is overseen by London-based Christian Dalban, whom Nomura hired in 2010 from Israel Englander’s $16.9 billion U.S. hedge fund, Millennium Management LLC, the people said. After joining Nomura, Dalban began hiring at a time when competing firms were scaling back proprietary trading desks to comply with a U.S. regulation known as the Volcker rule, which limits risk-taking.

Nomura, based in Tokyo, started reducing the number of London proprietary traders focused on stocks at Angel Lane last year, people with knowledge of the matter said in September. The bank is cutting costs by $1 billion, with almost half the savings coming from Europe. Nomura struggled for four years to build a business overseas after its purchase of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s European and Asian units in 2008.

Paul Volcker

Kenji Yamashita, a Tokyo-based spokesman at Nomura, declined to comment. Jonathan Hodgkinson, a New York-based spokesman, declined to comment.

Shares of Nomura rose 0.4 percent to 490 yen in Tokyo. The benchmark Topix Index climbed 2.2 percent. Nomura stock more than doubled last year, compared with an 18 percent gain in the Topix.

The name of the Nomura trading unit is derived from a 500,000-square-foot building on Angel Lane along the River Thames in London’s financial district that the bank moved into in April 2011.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., based in New York, began closing its proprietary trading units in September 2010, two months after the U.S. Congress approved the provision named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, which restricts banks with government-backed customer deposits from using a firm’s money to wager on markets.

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