Business / Corporate

Daiwa targets younger investors with new online brokerage unit

Bloomberg

Daiwa Securities Group Inc., Japan’s second-biggest brokerage, unveiled plans to start a unit focused on mobile services as early as next year to win younger clients.

Daiwa and larger rival Nomura Holdings Inc. face pressure to appeal to new investors as older clients pull money to spend on their retirement. The firms have traditionally focused on a face-to-face approach, which is costly to maintain at a time when retail business profitability is weakening.

The fully owned unit, named Connect, will target young generations in addition to people who are starting to build wealth, Tokyo-based Daiwa said in a statement Wednesday. It plans to allow clients to trade stocks in small lots and at the lowest fee in the industry, according to the release.

“We want to offer competitive services at competitive fee levels,” Chief Executive Officer Seiji Nakata said in an interview.

The group’s main securities arm has digital services of its own, but its share in Japan’s online retail market has been small.

Until now, Daiwa had been hesitant to create a separate, low-fee online brokerage within the group because it was concerned that it would “cannibalize” its existing digital business, Nakata said. The firm now believes that customers who use mobile services won’t necessarily be the same as those who tap the existing online platform, he said.