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OPINION

Abigail with attitude: Nomura’s latest missteps and the exit of Vereker

One institution that probably wouldn’t even make the fall-back list for our hypothetical graduate is Nomura. I have written at length about the missteps at the Japanese firm. However, even I was taken aback to read that Italian prosecutors tried to seize some €1.8 billion of assets from Nomura as part of a probe into Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena’s use of derivatives to hide losses.

Apparently, Sadeq Sayeed, a former European head at Nomura, and Raffaele Ricci, a managing director in fixed-income sales, are also being investigated for colluding to obstruct regulators. The allegations centre on derivatives transactions undertaken in 2009. Nomura, Sayeed and Ricci all deny the allegations.

Is it any wonder that William Vereker, Nomura’s previous co-head of investment banking, is scuttling out of the firm as fast as his legs can carry him? In mid-April, it was announced that Vereker would be joining UBS. Vereker, who took up the post of vice-chairman of Nomura’s investment banking operation in London last autumn, will join UBS as head of corporate client solutions for Europe.

This was a bit of a surprise as this seat was already occupied by David Soanes, the loyal (maybe too loyal?) UBS staffer.