Nomura might be about to make big equities layoffs in London

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Is something unfortunate about to happen to equities professionals at Nomura? Maybe. Several headhunters in London say the bank is planning some big cuts to its equities business ahead of its bonuses in April - and that it will be more than just the usual trimming.

"There are restructuring plans in the pipe there," says one. "We're hearing that equities are going to get decimated," says another.

Nomura was unable to immediately comment on the rumours, which may be exaggerated. The Japanese bank made big layoffs in its credit business last July, followed by rates layoffs in September. It also reportedly put 5% of its London equities staff at risk last November.

Earlier this week, Nomura replaced its chief operating officer ahead of possible plans to restructure its wholesale banking business. In December, CEO Koji Nagai said he planned to cut costs overseas and to shrink less productive areas of the bank's international operations. At the time, Nomura said its equities business had slowed in the last quarter and the presentation accompanying Nagai's statement emphasized the bank's plans to grow its IBD business in America. The profit margin in Nomura's wholesale business stood at just 7% in the six months to December 2015.

Separately, Harsh Shah, global head of structured sales, is said to be leaving the Japanese bank. Shah, who joined Nomura from Lehman in November 2008 and is a member of the bank's global fixed income management committee, remains registered with Nomura on the FCA Register, however. A call to his number went unanswered.

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