A Nomura salesman just joined Liberum

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Another day, another resurfacing of Nomura's unwanted equities professionals. Yesterday it was Fraser Ramzan, the ex-Nomura equity researcher who joined M&S as head of investor relations. Today, it's Nicholas Lee, a former VP in London equity hedge fund sales at Nomura who's joined Liberum to cover...London equity hedge fund sales.

Last time we looked at Liberum Capital was March 2015. Back then, the London-based equities brokerage and investment banking business, was reeling after the departure of Simon Stilwell, its chief executive and co-founder. Since then, the company appears to have streamlined staff - it now has 113 registered individuals employed in London according to the Financial Conduct Authority Register, down from 156 registered individuals 15 months ago.

Liberum's not a straightforward streamlining story though. Headhunters say it's also been hiring as it branches out from simply covering UK stocks to also covering selected European stocks in a "UK+ approach."

In a difficult London job market Nomura's ex-equities professionals are proving surprisingly adept at finding new jobs. Mark Howden, the former head of Nomura's consumer group, has also confirmed that he's joining Jefferies - as an MD in its consumer business.

Banks like Jefferies and Liberum have the advantage of being classified as 'tier three firms' by UK financial regulators, and are therefore free to pay the entirety of their bonuses in cash.

Equities headhunters say candidates' feelings are nonetheless mixed about the advisability of leaving large banks for smaller players. "People have very different views on this," says Oliver Rolfe, founder of London recruitment firm the Spartan Partnership. " - Some think you have more visibility and are more secure at big banks. Others think you're better working for a small local champion with a boutique focus, where you can be more entrepreneurial."

In the case of Nomura's equities professionals, they may not have had much choice. With 150 Nomura equities staff cut simultaneously in April, it's been a question of finding new jobs wherever possible. - On our reckoning at least 100 people are still out of the market.

Photo credit: akindo

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