Nomura Plans to Add 400 U.S. Slots in Research, Trading and Convertibles

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Nomura Holdings, Japan's biggest investment bank, is set to expand in the U.S. Plans call for bolstering stock and bond trading units by broadening the research group and expanding into convertibles.

The moves would increase Nomura's U.S. staff by a quarter< to 2,000 by March of 2011, Takumi Shibata, the bank's Tokyo-based chief operating officer, told Reuters. It's part of a strategy to raise the share of revenue coming from beyond Japan from 50 percent to 60 percent a year from now and 75 percent within five years.

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Shibata says a quarter of the U.S. trading market is in play. Along with looming regulations, that's leading him to beef up Nomura's organizational structure and increase emphasis on customer trading and controls.

He's also looking to grab top talent from rival banks. Former Lehman media banker Glenn Schiffman will lead Nomura's U.S investment banking business. Schiffman is circling the ranks, seeking to hire several dealmakers.

Shibata has begun to reshape Nomura's compensation structure - for instance, enticing new recruits by increasing employee stock ownership. Departing from Japanese norms, he also backs performance bonuses, particularly in lieu of lifetime employment guarantees.

Nomura became a big player in the U.S. during the 1980s and 90s, centered around risk-taking proprietary trading and mortgage securities. Those operations went awry after Russia's 1998 default, and were shut down.

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