Nomura is doing its whole hiring while firing thing. After cutting 12 equities jobs in Asia earlier this week, the Japanese bank announced plans to hire as many as 20 senior M&A bankers in the U.S. and at home.
The move represents a clear second effort by Nomura to grow in the U.S., with a particular focus on advisory. The bank tried and failed to buy the U.S. arm of Lehman Brothers back in 2008 (that would have been interesting), then staffed up using more of a piecemeal approach before eventually retrenching. But it has spent the better part of the last two years staffing up in the West once again.
Nomura employed 2,421 people in the Americas as of September, up 178 year-over-year, according to Bloomberg. But, unlike other banks that are hiring in the U.S., Nomura isn’t being cheap and just adding juniors to replace more expensive grey hairs. The 20 hires will all be managing directors and executive directors. The bank made a similar poaching rush last October, hiring away 15 senior staffers in the Americas.
Clearly, Nomura is banking on another great year in M&A in the U.S. The question will be whether they can compete on the same level as U.S. banks and more established European firms with deeper U.S. roots.
The hiring comes just a month after Nomura announced plans to open a Los Angeles office early this year. The details are a bit slim, but it will launch as a sales office only but with the hope of growing it into a fully functioning investment bank down the road.
“We have to be careful not to go in and then go out again because, unfortunately, we have a reputation for not being that consistent,” Atsushi Yoshikawa, Nomura’s president and the head of its investment bank, said last year. Maybe this style of growth is “careful,” but it sure is aggressive, particularly with most competitors headed in the other direction.
How the State of the Union Will Affect Bankers (eFinancialCareers)
President Obama said a few things that may eventually have an effect on Wall Street and certain bankers in particular. M&A bankers: watch out.
The Best Investment Banks to Work For in Fixed Income (eFinancialCareers)
Most banks have had a terrible time in fixed income in 2014, but which are the best options?
Rokos Is Back in Business (WSJ)
Brevan Howard co-founder Chris Rokos is launching his own hedge fund after settling a non-compete lawsuit with his former firm. In fact, Brevan Howard is helping back the firm. Elsewhere, if you work at PointState Capital, you had a pretty good 2014. The hedge fund, launched by Druckenmiller alums, made $1 billion in the second half of last year by shorting crude oil.
North of $400 Million (Bloomberg)
If you work in cybersecurity and want a pay raise, try knocking on Bank of America’s door. Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said the unit has a blank check. “The only place in the company that doesn’t have a budget constraint is that area.” Neat.
More Divorce Headlines (Chicago Tribune)
Chicago hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin is the latest financier to make headlines with a messy divorce. The Citadel founder’s wife said Griffin is trying to kick her out of their home. The hedge funder said she just took a $450,000 vacation to St. Barths on his dime and that “enough is enough.” At least there are no accusations of wife-swapping.
New Bond Unit at JPM (WSJ)
J.P. Morgan has created a 12-person team to trade credit index products including credit default swap benchmarks and exchange-traded funds.
Banker Real Estate Budgets on the Rise (Dealbook)
No bonus survey is accurate. The easiest way to tell how well bankers and hedge fund managers are doing is by asking real estate agents. Brokers say they are doing really, really well.
Buzz Around the Office
TrustNo1 (Fast Company)
Here is a list of the 25 most popular passwords for 2014. If you use either of the first two, someone else is probably reading this right alongside you.
Quote of the Day: “And having a sense of humor, what I’m trying to figure out to be honest with you and this is addressed to Bill for obvious reasons — whether your testicles are bigger than your brains or your brains are bigger than your testicles.” – hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman to Bill Shepro, CEO of mortgage finance company Altisource Portfolio Solutions, on a public conference call