Nomura Holdings Inc. plans to make flexible work permanent for its employees in Japan once the coronavirus pandemic ends, underscoring how the health crisis may hasten changes to working styles in the nation.
The nation’s biggest brokerage is finalizing preparations to enhance its work-from-home program, Chief Executive Officer Kentaro Okuda said at an investment forum Tuesday. The firm may introduce a minimum 40% of hours to be spent in the office each month, and departments would have discretion within that limit, he said in a presentation.
Nomura joins financial firms around the world that are adapting to the shift toward remote work, after the pandemic forced them to keep thousands of staff at home. In Japan, the virus has prompted some companies to move away from the entrenched practice of long hours spent in the office, a culture that the government has been trying to change to improve productivity and lifestyles.
“We have been able to maintain productivity” even after implementing measures such as split-shifts and teleworking, Okuda said.
Other steps under consideration in Japan include flexible work hours for some employees, including those who need to communicate with people overseas, the presentation said. Nomura is also looking into the need for satellite offices in the post-pandemic era.
Nomura is also considering a permanent flexible work regime at its offices outside of Japan, Bloomberg reported last month. Under those plans, which are at an early stage, 50% of its corporate workforce abroad would work remotely at any one time.
Okuda, 57, who became CEO in April, also updated investors on his broader strategy. His priorities include strengthening the private debt business in the U.S. and expanding wealth management.
Nomura plans to recruit private bankers for wealthy clients in Asia and the Middle East, he said. It aims to boost assets under management in those regions to $35 billion (¥3.65 trillion) or more by March 2025, compared with roughly $7 billion as of March.
The brokerage has hired about 170 people for its new securities joint venture in China, close to its target of 200 people by the end of the year, according to the presentation. It is preparing to open a third branch in the country in addition to ones in Beijing and Shanghai, it said, without disclosing the location.
Nomura, whose initial focus in China is investment management services for the rich, also plans to open offices in cities where many wealthy individuals live.
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