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People: Nomura heads nowhere fast

Departures and reshuffles indicate poor strategic planning; Former Lehman employees frustrated by lack of traction

Eighteen months after buying the European and Asian business of Lehman Brothers, Nomura seems to be still trying to work out a suitable structure as it struggles to hold on to staff. In March, the firm announced several departures, senior management moves and the combination of its wholesale banking and trading businesses under one new head.

Jesse Bhattal, the former head of Lehman Brothers Asia, who stepped back to a purely advisory role for Nomura after the takeover, has been named as president and COO of the combined units, which include investment banking, equities and fixed income globally. The Japanese brokerage is to be kept separate.

Bhattal’s task in the newly created position will be to keep the businesses coordinated. One source reports infighting among business lines and regions, and that the Japanese flow and investment banking business was not integrated globally at all. "If approval wasn’t granted from one side, then it was all too easy to run to a different side and get approval," he says. Now regional heads and global heads of divisions will report to Bhattal. "There will be only one line of command now," says the source.

Golden boy

Coinciding with Bhattal’s appointment came the resignation of EMEA chief executive Sadeq Sayeed.

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