Nomura International is developing a fixed-income underwriting business in North America and is looking to hire a banker to fill the newly created position of head of North American debt capital markets. Stefano Ghersi, London-based global head of DCM and to whom the new hire will report, says previously Nomura only had an informal fixed-income underwriting effort in North America. Now, as part of its global fixed-income push, the region will play a key role in the firm's expansion plans, he said. The firm is looking to recruit a major player from a top firm to lead the effort.
There is one fundamental reason for increased interest in America, says Ghersi. That is simply the fact that the Japanese investor base represents the largest pool of uninvested liquidity available anywhere in the world and for the first time these investors are looking aggressively to invest in non-yen credits outside Japan. "It is no longer appropriate to build out a business to service just one investor base. It would be a partial solution. We are going to develop a new investor base where we haven't been relevant," says Ghersi. Nomura has also been building its debt capital markets presence in London to service Europe and in Hong Kong to cover Asia outside of Japan.
Ghersi is still in the process of defining the firm's strategy in North America. He says that part of the new hire's charge will to be to assess Nomura's potential business opportunities for North America and to determine the best way to build its DCM franchise there. The build-out will be balanced with Nomura's existing North American fixed-income business, headed by Alex Noujaim. Ghersi will be reporting to Noujaim concerning the North American underwriting business' development. So, part of the assessment process will be to see where Nomura must add to its derivatives, fixed-income trading and distribution efforts, to complement the origination side. "We're looking at the resources we do have, and how we can optimize them. It's a gradual step-by-step build out," he says. An exact number of new hires has not been decided. Sales, trading and research professionals will also be added in London and Asia when and where appropriate.