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Nomura cuts dozens of jobs at US investment-banking unit

Less than 10% of US staff are affected by cuts under new CEO Kentaro Okuda

New York

NOMURA Holdings cut dozens of jobs at its US investment bank, people with knowledge of the matter said, joining several rivals that are starting to retrench as the novel coronavirus pandemic clouds business prospects.

The firm notified some workers on Tuesday, said the sources, who asked not be identified because the headcount reduction is not public. Less than 10 per cent of the investment-banking staff in the US are affected, they said.

The cuts are among the first under new chief executive officer Kentaro Okuda. Since taking the reins in April, he has said that an existing 140 billion yen (S$1.8 billion) restructuring programme under his predecessor is no longer enough.

Mr Okuda said last month that he ordered managers to review business operations in the wake of the pandemic.

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Chief financial officer Takumi Kitamura declined to directly comment on the news at an earnings briefing in Tokyo on Wednesday, though he said the company is reviewing its business portfolio amid the outbreak.

"Clients' needs may change in the post-coronavirus era," he said.

Nomura swung back to profit last quarter, benefiting from the buoyant trading conditions that lifted the earnings of its Wall Street peers, the results showed.

Overseas operations posted a record pretax profit. Still, investment banking revenue declined.

The job cuts are separate from reductions stemming from the closing of the Tokyo-based company's Instinet equity-research division, announced earlier this month.

Nomura had 27,079 employees worldwide as at June, including 2,164 in the Americas.

Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup pledged to preserve jobs as workers grappled with fallout from the pandemic.

But Cantor Fitzgerald said in April it would shrink its workforce "to position the firm for the uncertain macroeconomic conditions."

Wells Fargo & Co is preparing to cut thousands of jobs starting later this year.

HSBC Holdings in June resumed a plan to cut as many as 35,000 jobs, three months after the novel coronavirus outbreak forced it to pause a long-awaited overhaul. BLOOMBERG

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