Nomura loses another equity research MD

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Daniel Cunliffe, a managing director at Nomura who headed its capital goods equity research team, has become the latest senior analyst to depart in the wake of reportedly disappointing bonuses.

Despite indulging in a hiring spree that has bolstered both its fixed income and equities team this year, in recent weeks Nomura has lost a string of senior investment bankers. Equity research has been particularly badly affected, with Harald Hendriks, head of its autos team, and Fred Boulan, who leads the bank’s telecoms research division, also departing this month to Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch respectively.

Cunliffe left in mid-June, according to sources close to the situation, having joined from Royal Bank of Scotland in April 2012, where he was also head of capital goods research. Klas Bergelind, who joined Cunliffe’s team at the same time, left to join Citigroup earlier this year.

Nomura declined to comment.

The ranks of equity researchers in investment banks have been decimated in recent years as the sell-side has struggled to monetise the sector and justify maintaining large teams as pressure to cut costs mounts. There’s been an exodus of researchers to the buy-side, while others have started their own boutique.

A lot of analysts have simply decided that the shrinking pay packets, long hours and shaky job prospects are not worth it and have moved into hedge funds. Nomura, which paid its bonuses in mid-May, was rumoured to have not been especially generous, hence the recent exits.

However, the ranks of researchers have been thinned to such an extent that investment banks find themselves facing a shortage of talent. The result in the past few months has been a game of musical chairs among analysts.

Nomura will likely have to indulge in some replacement hiring, however. Citigroup, which was said to have reduced bonuses for its equity researchers by 10-20% this year and lost staff as a result, has been among the most active recruiters of analysts in 2014.

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