Bloomberg reports that Nagai, 53, will succeed Chief Executive Officer Kenichi Watanabe, 59, from Aug. 1, Tokyo-based Nomura said in a statement yesterday. Watanabe and Chief Operating Officer Takumi Shibata, architects of the 2008 purchase of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s assets, will step down to atone for instances of staff leaking information about clients’ share sales to traders.
The new CEO inherits the task of placating clients and regulators after the bank said yesterday that the leaks, which cost Nomura its top spot managing Japan bond sales, may have been more widespread than previously announced. The stock lost 83 percent during Watanabe’s tenure as foreign operations, built with the Lehman assets, posted losses for a ninth quarter.
Nagai’s appointment 'will create the perception that Nomura is shifting to make the domestic business its main pillar', said Yasuhide Yajima, chief economist at NLI Research Institute in Tokyo, pointing to the executive’s local experience. 'The question remains whether reshuffling top management will be enough of a remedy to change the corporate culture'.
Shibata, 59, will be replaced by American unit chief Atsushi Yoshikawa, who said on a conference call with analysts yesterday that additional cost reductions are needed and the company may cut more jobs.
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