Nomura: Okuda’s fine work undone by Archegos mess
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Nomura: Okuda’s fine work undone by Archegos mess

Kentaro Okuda had been delivering. Nomura was reporting strong and sustainable profits, with a streamlined international business driven by trading in the Americas. Then came Archegos.

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Nomura chief executive Kentaro Okuda. | Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

It had all been going so well.

Nomura has faced challenges for as long as anyone can remember. Domestically, its retail brokerage model is under considerable pressure, more exposed than any peer to a changing environment. Internationally, it has been fighting not only to build but to define a successful business model ever since taking over the Lehman Brothers assets in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

But under chief executive Kentaro Okuda, things had been turning around. Nomura hit – or got very close to hitting – record profits for each of Okuda’s first three quarters in charge and had been expected to announce a fourth, for the full year, on April 27. Nomura had had a boom year in US trading, getting on the right side of the Covid-19 pandemic and the following bounce in equity prices; it had successfully simplified its overseas business and focused only on what it appeared to be good at.

“Nomura’s


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Asia correspondent Euromoney
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Chris Wright is Euromoney’s Asia correspondent. He covers the Asia Pacific region and is based in Singapore. He has previously been Middle East editor of Euromoney, editor of Asiamoney, investment editor of the Australian Financial Review and a correspondent on emerging markets and sovereign wealth for numerous publications worldwide. He has also written three books.
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