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Banking

Nomura cuts back on staff

The Japanese bank no longer appears to be targeting the frequent issuers business.

In London, Nomura has made some redundancies in fixed income sales and trading. The losses, understood to total 25, were a surprise given the bank’s recently positive results.

The two best-known individuals are James Orbell, who worked on debt syndicate, and Catriona Brown, who was head of origination for sovereign, supranational and agencies.

Orbell’s departure was a surprise for both insiders and outsiders as he was regarded as a highly experienced and safe set of hands. He will not have any shortage of offers.

Apparently, the order to let Orbell go came down from a very senior level and was one his direct bosses tried to resist. Brian Lawson, head of syndicate, is back doing deals.

Meanwhile, Brown insists she is retiring from the business, but has already received some calls from headhunters seeking to place her at other institutions.

Strategy shift?

Where exactly does this leave Nomura? It has made no comment on whether the redundancies signal a shift of strategy in its fixed income franchise. It has tried to build a derivatives business, which is a costly process.

Whether this single A rated bank can make its investments pay remains to be seen.

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