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Takumi Shibata, Sadeq Sayeed: Nomura comes out fighting

A year after acquiring Lehman Brothers’ Asian and European businesses, Nomura says it is halfway to building a global investment bank. Few people outside the firm think it will succeed. To some, it is already the ‘other Lehman takeover’. But Nomura’s leaders are determined to win the battle. Lawrence White and Helen Avery report.

IT IS AN accident of timing, a Nomura spokeswoman assures Euromoney as we enter the elevators in the Japanese firm’s Tokyo headquarters that our meetings with senior management are scheduled for September 15. That makes it one year to the day since Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US. Nomura prefers to think about September 22, she says, when it announced that it would be buying Lehman’s Asian operations. The next day Nomura snapped up the failed US bank’s European investment banking and equities business for a nominal fee of $2. "It feels like several years have passed," says Takumi Shibata, deputy president and chief operating officer of Nomura. Shibata, one of the architects of the Lehman acquisition alongside Sadeq Sayeed in Europe, is a 32-year veteran of Nomura with a career that includes 12 years in London, three in Hong Kong and two in Boston. He and his colleagues face a daunting task. Pre-crisis, Nomura had been a powerhouse in Japanese retail brokerage and investment banking, with outposts in Europe, Asia and the US reliant on cross-border business to and from its home territory.

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