“Fairly diverse” workplace
“Lack of decision-making ability” among managers
“Risk-adverse, muddled” culture
"Picking up Lehman's Asia and Europe operations is fueling a new energy—a firm to watch"
"No one's ever sure what Nomura's doing"
"Lehman personnel expanded the reputation"
"Who's still there from Lehman?"
From Tokyo to the world
Based in Tokyo, Nomura Holdings is Japan’s largest securities group. In the Americas, the bank operates through Nomura Holding America and Nomura Securities International, its broker-dealer. In the U.S., it has offices in New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Its four operating divisions in the Americas (equities, fixed income, asset management, and investment banking) work jointly with Nomura’s businesses around the world, allowing Nomura to conduct plenty of international and cross-border deals.
This legend of Japanese finance arrived in New York in 1927. Eight decades later, Nomura found itself at the center of the world financial crisis -- and made the purchase of a lifetime. After the spectacular collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers, Nomura swooped in to buy Lehman’s equities and investment banking operations in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The Asian businesses sold for $225 million, while the European and Middle Eastern arms went for the nominal sum of $2 (this is not a typo), which was not a bad deal, considering that Europe and Asia typically represented half of Lehman’s annual revenue. Along with preserving thousands of Lehman bankers’ jobs outside the U.S., the deal gave Nomura a roster of big-name clients and over 20 offices in Europe and the Middle East.
Today, Nomura's U.S. offices provide capital raising, mergers and acquisitions advisory, sales and trading, foreign exchange, derivatives, research, and asset management. Its M&A group, based in New York, works both domestically and internationally on deals, often collaborating with Nomura’s Asian and European staff on divestitures, joint ventures, restructurings, and valuations. Led by CEO Kenichi Watanabe, Nomura employees nearly 27,000 employees worldwide.
Journey from Osaka to New York
The son of an Osaka moneychanger, Tokushichi Nomura II was born in 1878, the year the Osaka and Tokyo stock exchanges were founded. At that time, Osaka was Japan’s business and finance center. After a three-year transcription in the Japanese army, young Nomura joined his father at the family business (called Nomura Shoten, or Nomura Shop). By 1904, the younger Nomura was running the shop, and he decided to add stock sales, trades and spot transactions to his father’s currency exchange business. In 1906, Nomura created an in-house research department, and, to this day, research is a central aspect of his firm’s operations. He began publishing a daily newsletter called the Osaka Nomura Business News, which contained stock analysis, economic research and trading reports. Nomura became well known throughout Japan; no other broker at the time was putting out such reports.
Thanks to his solid reputation, Nomura and his company survived the Japanese market crash of 1907. A year later, he took his first trip to New York. Nomura returned to Japan with the intention of creating a global finance firm that could compete with the best in America; his first step was to expand his research department and create a translation department so he could become involved in foreign currency-denominated bonds. Underwriting and international trading were ramped up, and by 1917, Nomura Shoten became Nomura Shoten Incorporated. In 1922, Nomura formed a holding company to contain his empire, and three years later, his securities division was incorporated separately as Nomura Securities. In 1927, Nomura’s dream of opening an office in New York came true. By then, Nomura’s enterprises included the stand-alone securities division, bond sales, underwriting and commercial banking under the Osaka Nomura Bank name.
In 1946, the firm’s headquarters shifted to Tokyo, and five years later, it launched an investment management business. Nomura is credited with pioneering the use of investment trusts. It was also one of the first foreign-owned companies to gain membership on the London Stock Exchange. In 2007, Nomura paid $1.2 billion to acquire Instinet, Inc., a major electronic trading services provider with 1,500 clients worldwide.
Another big one
In October 2009, not long after it picked up Lehman's European and Middle Eastern operations, Nomura Holdings purchased another prized asset, completing the acquisition of NikkoCiti Trust and Banking Corporation for ¥19 billion in cash. As of March 2009, just prior to the announcement of the deal, NikkoCiti Trust and Banking had ¥4.5 trillion in trust assets and more than 100 employees, while Nomura’s trust division possessed ¥19.5 trillion in assets and 261 employees.
2 World Financial Center
New York, NY 10281-1198
Phone: (212) 667-9300
Employer Type: Public
Stock Symbol: NMR
Stock Exchange: NYSE
CEO: Kenichi Watanabe
2018 Employees (All Locations): 28,865