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Japan – the view from the top: Seiji Nakata, Daiwa

No large financial institution in Japan attracts more doubts about its long-term sustainability than Daiwa, but as its CEO says: 'People on the outside don't know us.'

Ever since the dissolution of its joint venture with SMBC in 2009, the theory has been the same: Daiwa, lacking balance-sheet strength and in a declining domestic brokerage environment, which is dominated by Nomura, must sooner or later be bought by someone else.

Seiji Nakata, president and chief executive since April 2017, doesn’t see it that way. Asked about people who doubt Daiwa’s model and ability to remain independent, he comes out fighting: “That’s probably because those people who are looking at our company from the outside simply don’t know us, or don’t understand the depth of us. 

“Since I assumed the CEO position I have made very clear communication to the outside world, saying that we are going to become a hybrid securities group, targeting mid-cap businesses in M&A, not utilizing our balance sheet for overseas business or expanding into new geographical areas.