Nomura cuts dozens of jobs at U.S. investment-banking unit

Nomura CEO Kentaro Okuda, 56, said last month that he ordered managers to review business operations in the wake of the pandemic.
Nomura CEO Kentaro Okuda, 56, said last month that he ordered managers to review business operations in the wake of the pandemic.
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Nomura Holdings cut dozens of jobs at its U.S. investment bank, people with knowledge of the matter said, joining several rivals that are starting to retrench as the coronavirus pandemic clouds business prospects.

The firm notified some workers on Tuesday, according to the people, who asked not be identified because the headcount reduction isn’t public. Less than 10% of the investment-banking staff in the U.S. are affected, the people said.

The cuts are among the first under new CEO Kentaro Okuda, who since taking the reins in April has said that an existing $1.3 billion restructuring program under his predecessor is no longer enough. Okuda, 56, said last month that he ordered managers to review business operations in the wake of the pandemic.

CFO Takumi Kitamura declined to directly comment on the news at an earnings briefing in Tokyo on Wednesday, though he said the company is reviewing its business portfolio amid the outbreak. “Clients’ needs may change in the post-coronavirus era,” he said.

Nomura swung back to profit last quarter, benefiting from the buoyant trading conditions that lifted the earnings of its Wall Street peers, the results showed. Overseas operations posted a record pretax profit. Still, investment banking revenue declined.

The job cuts are separate from reductions stemming from the closing of the Tokyo-based company’s Instinet equity-research division, announced earlier this month. Nomura had 27,079 employees worldwide as of June, including 2,164 in the Americas.

Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup pledged to preserve jobs as workers grappled with fallout from the pandemic.

But Cantor Fitzgerald said in April it would shrink its workforce “to position the firm for the uncertain macroeconomic conditions.” Wells Fargo is preparing to cut thousands of jobs starting later this year, and HSBC Holdings in June resumed a plan to cut as many as 35,000 jobs, three months after the coronavirus outbreak forced it to pause a long-awaited overhaul. — Additional reporting by Takashi Nakamichi

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