Nomura builds ranks in Americas, hiring more in fixed income sales

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Asian global investment giant Nomura is building its ranks with senior hires in the Americas, where staff has already grown organically from 900 people in 2009 to some 2,300 people in fixed income, asset management, equities and investment banking. After losing several key people it carried over with its takeover of bankrupt Lehman Brothers nearly five years ago, Nomura is now in the process of hiring more people for fixed income sales in the Americas.

The Japanese bank today announced that Javier Kulesz has been hired from UBS as a managing director and senior desk analyst covering Argentina and Venezuela within the emerging markets group in New York, where he will oversee the trading desk and institutional investors with a focus on macroeconomics in Argentina and Venezuela.

Kulesz’s appointment comes less than a week after the hires of Tom Haskins from Morgan Stanley as a managing director and head of foreign exchange sales for the Americas, and Eric Miller from Credit Suisse as a managing director and head of interest rates sales for the Americas. Haskins left  Morgan Stanley in late January, amid some 1,600 job cuts including several in FX.

Atsushi Yoshikawa, president and group COO and wholesale CEO, told investors May 22 ( the same day Haskins and Miller's new posts were announced), that the bank plans to hire more people in sales for the Americas.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Jefferies have plucked from Royal Bank of Scotland’s credit business in the past few months, and more U.S. banks are reportedly looking to tap talent from RBS amid reports it will slash a bigger chuck of its credit business.

Nomura has not hired anyone from RBS since last August when it named Henson Orser head of global markets Americas sales, and could not say today whether it was looking to hire more people from RBS, which has recently lost many top executives, including Brian Reid who departed his role as global head of sales. Haskins and Miller report to Orser.

Nomura scooped up Lehman Brothers’ international businesses, including  8,000 employees, after the U.S. brokerage filed for bankruptcy in September 2008. Nomura placed many key Lehman execs in top roles, including putting Jasjit “Jesse” Bhattal in charge the wholesale division and Glenn Schiffman at the helm of investment banking for the Americas. Few senior bankers inherited from Lehman remain at Nomura. Bhattal has since moved to Lazard, where he was named senior advisor in January. Schiffman left Nomura to become a partner at The Raine Group and last month joined Guggenheim Securities as a senior managing director.

The new hiring spree at Nomura is part of a select investment strategy for the Americas.

Yoshikawa told investors last week that the differentiated regional strategy in the Americas includes increasing business with key U.S. investors, building on local profits and developing research and structuring capabilities to U.S. clients. Nomura is moving its New York office from the financial district to Midtown to be closer to and better serve those clients.

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