Business / Corporate

Nomura cuts dozens of jobs at U.S. investment-banking unit

Bloomberg

Nomura Holdings Inc. has cut dozens of jobs at its U.S. investment bank, people with knowledge of the matter said, joining several rivals that are starting to retrench as the coronavirus pandemic eats into revenue.

The firm notified some workers on Tuesday, according to the sources, who asked not be identified because the headcount reduction isn’t yet being made public. Less than 10 percent of the investment-banking staff in the U.S. are affected, they said.

The cuts are among the first under new Chief Executive Officer Kentaro Okuda, who, since taking the reins in April, has said that an existing ¥140 billion ($1.3 billion) restructuring program under his predecessor is no longer enough. Japan’s biggest brokerage has struggled to sustain profits abroad, and the task is getting harder now that the outbreak is hammering the global economy.

Nomura, which posted a surprise loss in the first three months of 2020, is set to release fiscal first-quarter results later Wednesday. Okuda, 56, said last month that he ordered managers to review expenses in the wake of the pandemic and will consider cutting office space.

The job cuts are separate from reductions stemming from the closing of the Tokyo-based company’s Instinet equity-research division, announced earlier this month. Nomura had 26,629 employees worldwide as of March, including 2,120 in the Americas.

Lawton King, a spokesman for Nomura, declined to comment.

Nomura shares opened 1.1 percent lower on Wednesday morning in Tokyo, taking this year’s decline to 15 percent.

Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. pledged to preserve jobs as workers grappled with fallout from the pandemic.

But Cantor Fitzgerald said in April it would shrink its workforce "to position the firm for the uncertain macroeconomic conditions.” Wells Fargo & Co. is preparing to cut thousands of jobs starting later this year, and HSBC Holdings PLC in June resumed a plan to cut as many as 35,000 jobs, three months after the coronavirus outbreak forced it to pause a long-awaited overhaul.

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