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Opinion

Wealth: Will Nomura’s big plans for Asia fall short?

The Japanese bank has spent big money to hire a wealth management team, but spiralling costs and a lack of name recognition in key markets leave many asking: how realistic are its ambitions?

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Can Ravi Raju make Nomura a power – or at the very least, simply relevant – in wealth management, in Asia and beyond?

The Singapore-based private banker has the right credentials. Raju spent 15 years at Citi learning his trade, then nine as Deutsche Bank’s Asia head of wealth management.

That was followed by a briefer stint at UBS, which he joined in 2017 as Asia head of ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW), before jumping ship three years later.

Since joining Nomura as head of international wealth management (IWM) in September, he has barely sat still.

Being surrounded by opportunity offers no guarantee of success

In January, Raju hired more than 20 private bankers and investment advisers, bulking out the somewhat threadbare team he inherited.

Wayne Yang, a former CEO of mainland private bank Baxian, was made group head of Greater China, with Kitty Chen joining as China managing director from Geneva-based Union Bancaire Privée.

The respected figure of Adil Khan was appointed group head of southeast Asia, with a remit to serve rich non-resident Indians (NRIs).

In mid-April, Nomura added three more relationship managers, hiring Steven Sun from Credit Suisse and Andrew Au from Schroders – both will report to Yang – and HSBC veteran Aditya Samant, who reports to Khan.

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