Japan – the view from the top: Kentaro Okuda, Nomura
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Japan – the view from the top: Kentaro Okuda, Nomura

A few weeks before being appointed as its new CEO, Nomura's Kentaro Okuda outlined his vision for the firm to Euromoney.

It is widely held that Japan’s retail brokerage model is under great pressure – perhaps irredeemably broken.

Nomura is the biggest name in the sector. It still has a peerless distribution network, but there is a nagging sense that it is more exposed than anyone to the challenges facing brokerage.

Nomura has had a difficult few years. It reported its first annual loss in a decade in April, and its last annual general meeting was sobering, with chief executive Koji Nagai having to fight down an attempt by proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services to stop his reappointment.

He survived, but shareholder support for his reappointment fell from 96% to 61.7% in a year.

But Nomura’s international operations finally turned profitable in the first quarter – the first profitable quarter in six for the business – and by the second-half results in October, the only region in which Nomura was not growing revenue was Japan.

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