Nomura Americas CEO Gets Guaranteed Pay, Riling Bankers

  • Findlay got $5 million package as bankers saw steep drops
  • CEO’s 5-year guaranteed compensation deal dates from 2012

David Findlay, chief executive officer of Nomura Holdings Inc.’s Americas business, received his full compensation for last year as investment bankers took deep cuts, causing frustration and anger across the struggling unit, people familiar with the matter said.

Findlay, who has run the New York-based business since 2012, got a guaranteed $5 million package, while dealmakers and advisers saw their compensation shrink by as much as 70 percent, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Jonathan Hodgkinson, a spokesman for the Tokyo-based bank, declined to comment, while Findlay didn’t return a call or e-mail.

Nomura is among foreign banks cutting the size of its North American workforce amid a Wall Street trading slump. As much as 30 percent of staff is expected to be dismissed, including several managing directors. Nomura, which had 2,481 employees in the U.S., Latin America and Canada as of June 30, hasn’t made an annual profit outside of Japan since 2010.

Bonus Pool

Findlay, who joined Nomura in 1999, received the money in May as part of a five-year guaranteed package agreed to when he became CEO, the people said. Meanwhile, about 100 investment-banking employees shared a $16 million bonus pool. Nomura had previously told executives that the pool would be more than double that amount, the people said.

“If the management team locks up too much of the bonus pool, then all of a sudden, everyone else has to suffer,” said Glenn Schorr, a senior banking analyst at Evercore ISI who left Nomura in 2013, adding he isn’t privy to the firm’s compensation.

Guaranteed, multiyear compensation packages have become less common because they limit firms’ ability to cut costs when revenue declines. In 2009, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. introduced a set of compensation policies that called for guaranteed contracts to be used only in exceptional circumstances -- for instance, to lure new hires -- and for multiyear deals to be avoided.

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