Nomura Replaces First Female CFO Nakagawa With Kashiwagi

Junko Nakagawa, Nomura Holdings Inc.’s first female chief financial officer, will step down after two years in the post, to be replaced by Shigesuke Kashiwagi.

Nakagawa, 47, will remain a senior managing director and take charge of the internal audit group at Japan’s biggest brokerage, Tokyo-based Nomura said in a statement today. The appointments will take effect on April 1.

She was named CFO in 2011 under former Chief Executive Officer Kenichi Watanabe, who resigned in July after regulators found that some employees gave tips to traders. Kashiwagi, 53, will take over the task of implementing CEO Koji Nagai’s plan to reduce $1 billion of costs and sustain a profit recovery as Japanese financial markets rally.

“The market will be watching whether Nomura can complete its cost cutting plan and maintain discipline under the new CFO,” said Masao Muraki, a Tokyo-based analyst at Deutsche Bank AG. “Investors are also focusing on how Nomura can boost equity and investment banking business and offset a possible decline in revenue from fixed income, where it’s been solid.”

Nomura announced the moves today as part of a management shuffle. It reduced the number of senior managing directors to 71 from 80, Kenji Yamashita, a Tokyo-based spokesman, said by phone. The firm had 105 staff in the role in June 2011, he said.

Trimmed Payrolls

Nagai has pledged to cut expenses that swelled after the firm bought Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. operations in 2008. The investment bank trimmed payrolls last quarter as part of the reductions. Nomura had 34,098 employees as of Dec. 31, down 717 from three months earlier.

Nakagawa said in January that she expects investment banking operations to recover this year as Japan’s stock rebound prompts companies to tap capital markets and make acquisitions. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 0.3 percent today to the highest since September 2008.

“We have a very positive view on our pipeline as the stock market and Japan as a whole are doing well,” Nakagawa said on Jan. 31. Net income rose 13 percent to 20.1 billion yen ($216 million) for the three months ended Dec. 31, led by brokerage commissions and trading.

To boost fixed-income and equity businesses, Nomura formed a 26-member global markets executive committee headed by division chief Steve Ashley, an internal memo showed on Jan. 29.

Kashiwagi is currently in charge of regional management support and risk advisory. He has worked in global fixed income and had stints abroad, including as chief executive officer at a U.S. unit. He joined Nomura after graduating from Keio University in 1982.

Nakagawa entered the firm in 1988 after graduating from Kobe University.