Abigail with attitude: It’s time for Bhattal to call it quits at Nomura
Gloom prevailed at the annual IMF meetings in Washington according to my sources. Senior bankers have now come round to the Abigail with attitude view, expressed in my July column, that frosty times lie ahead and the authorities do not have many weapons of mass optimism left.
A number of senior bankers have also been telling me that they now agree with my pessimistic assessment of Nomura. Since 2008, I have criticised Nomura for its bloated cost base arising from the acquisition of the Lehman Brother’s Asian and European operations.
Money has been poured down a bottomless pit and vainglorious strategies for global dominance proffered. I exaggerate slightly but Nomura’s desire to expand its equities business in the States and compete in that market strikes me as fool-hardy. If analysts expect the top investment bank, Goldman Sachs, to make a third quarter loss, I shudder to think what Nomura’s numbers will look like.
An impeccable source told me: “Nomura has to fire Jesse Bhattal (the current head of wholesale and deputy president of the firm who used to be Lehman’s chief executive in Asia) and bring in someone who is unemotional about the past and prepared to make drastic cuts. They need to get out of all wholesale businesses that are not profitable and shrink back to areas that build on their core expertise as Japan’s leading brokerage firm.” Source is correct and after wasting billions of dollars of shareholder’s money, Nomura should swallow hard and follow his suggestions.
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