Next time Nomura comes calling with the promise of a generous payout tied to personal pnl and the opportunity to build a business, traders might be inclined to pass. Several succumbed to this combination in 2017/2018 and last week many were burned.
Nomura is "downscaling" its G10 FX, emerging markets and flow credit businesses in London and New York. Coincidentally (or not), these are precisely the areas it spent recent years investing in. Nomura's newly ejected salespeople and traders include Gokhan Buyuksarac, the top Goldman Sachs emerging markets trader whose head was turned by Nomura in 2017, Clive Hadingham, the former head of real money FX sales at SocGen who joined in January 2018 along with SocGen colleague Jack Buckland, and Asa Attwell, the former head of G10 FX trading at BNP Paribas, who arrived in June 2018. Had they known Nomura was going to change its strategy they would clearly have stayed where they were.
The unwanted traders are in consultancy periods while Nomura finalises their severance packages and looks for alternative roles internally (which are unlikely to be forthcoming) and are forbidden from talking to the media. Speaking anonymously, however, they complain of broken promises and of being tempted to leave steady jobs elsewhere by Nomura's offers.
Some of those wondering about the wisdom of joining the Japanese bank are likely to be James Konrad, Biagio Lapolla and Robbie Anderson, who arrived late last year in flow rates sales and trading. Although none are thought to have been displaced in the cull, the carnage is likely to be unnerving - particularly for someone like Konrad, whom headhunters describe as, "the best in the business."
The good news is that Nomura's surplus staff should find it comparatively easy to find new jobs elsewhere. There isn't much hiring in London, but when there is headhunters say Nomura traders and salespeople should be at the front of the queue. "The people at Nomura are top quartile," says one credit headhunter, speaking off the record. "Nomura doesn't have much product and has limited capability with some client groups, so if you survived there - particularly in sales - you had to be good."
Another macro-focused headhunter says he already has three ex-Nomura staff out at interviews.
This is good. At least one of those let go says his wife is already tiring of having him around the house - and he only left last Thursday.
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