Business / Corporate

Nomura said to choose Frankfurt as new European base after British exit

Bloomberg

Nomura Holdings Inc. has picked Frankfurt to be the headquarters of its European Union operations after the U.K. leaves the bloc, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Japan’s biggest brokerage will start preparations this month to form a base in the German financial center, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is confidential. It will seek regulatory approval and find office space before transferring fewer than 100 employees from London to the city, according to the person.

Nomura, which had 3,026 employees in Europe as of March 31, had been considering cities including Munich, Luxembourg and Paris to secure business in the EU after the British exit. Frankfurt, home to the European Central Bank, has emerged as one of the favored Brexit options for global banks including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc.

Kenji Yamashita, a spokesman for Nomura in Tokyo, declined to comment.

The Tokyo-based securities firm has enjoyed an earnings revival in Europe recently following a round of cost cuts. Last fiscal year, it posted its first annual overseas profit in seven years after eliminating about 900 jobs, mainly in Europe and the U.S.

Nomura’s closest domestic rival, Daiwa Securities Group Inc., is looking at Frankfurt and Dublin for its EU operations. Lenders Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. have been building their presence in Amsterdam, where they hold a banking license that gives them access to the EU. MUFG is adding the Dutch city as a location for its securities business in addition to London, public broadcaster NHK reported this month.

Formal negotiations between U.K. and EU officials on Brexit began this week. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are scouting for office space in Frankfurt that could serve as their new trading hub inside the union, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this month.