Mizuho buys Greenhill to complete its US investment banking franchise
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Mizuho buys Greenhill to complete its US investment banking franchise

Pedestrians are reflected on Mizuho Bank's signboard in Tokyo

The Japanese bank sees Greenhill as the missing M&A piece in its US product offering. Asiamoney speaks to the New York-based CEO of Mizuho Securities US operations Jerry Rizzieri, and US head of investment and corporate banking, Michal Katz, about the bank’s ambitions.

If any banking business can appreciate that there is a future after apparent financial Armageddon, it is Japan's Mizuho Bank.

The bank, born in 2002, emerged from what the Japanese refer to as ‘the lost decade’, when Japan’s economic and price bubble of the 1980s gradually burst during the 1990s – a period of disorder and decline from which it has yet to fully recover.

At the time, three banks – Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Fuji Bank and Industrial Bank of Japan, each of them considered cornerstones of the Japanese economic establishment – were broken, burdened by bad loans, atrocious governance and scandal. Confronted with too-big-to-fail consequences for Japan’s anaemic economy and with regulators hovering, the three came together in a shotgun merger-marriage. They were reinvented as Mizuho, a name that evokes ancient terms for Japan’s agricultural and economic bounty.

It proved a decisive intervention. Two decades later, the Mizuho Financial Group is again a powerhouse. With assets of $2 trillion, Mizuho is one of Japan’s 'big three' non-government-owned banks, alongside Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC), themselves products of consolidating mergers.

Each of them is ranked inside the world’s top 15 financial institutions.


Renewal is also a common theme among the top brass at Mizuho’s US investment banking operations, its principal business in the Americas.



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