September 13, 2012 / 6:16 PM / 5 years ago

Nomura U.S. equities head O'Kelly leaves

NEW YORK, Sept 13 (Reuters) - A week after announcing a plan to scale back its traditional stock trading businesses worldwide, Nomura Holdings said on Thursday it has restructured the management team at its U.S. equities group.

Ciaran O‘Kelly, 44, who rapidly expanded Nomura Securities International’s group of stock salespeople, traders and researchers since joining from Bank of America in mid-2009, has left the firm, a bank spokesman said.

He has been replaced in the New York by Samir Patel and Michael Rietbrock, executives who were former colleagues of O‘Kelly at Bank of America and followed him to Nomura in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Rietbrock, who has been in charge of US equity research and research sales, will oversee client strategy, research and corporate access in the United States and have global responsibility for research sales, according to an internal memo.

Patel, who ran execution sales in the Americas, will oversee services for hedge funds and users of equities derivatives and convertible securities.

The pair will report to David Findlay, who remains president and chief executive of Nomura Holding America, and to Benoit Savoret and Naoki Matsuba, the bank’s new global heads of equities.

Nomura said last week that it would transfer all U.S. stock-trading activities to its less risky, agency-only trading unit Instinet. The business of trading stocks for clients with the bank’s own capital and attracting orders through research has been battered across all brokerage firms by years of weak trading volume and falling commission prices.

Nomura Chief Executive Koji Nagai last week laid out a plan to cut $1 billion of expenses company-wide, including $210 million in its U.S. operations. It has not detailed how many employees will be let go, but its cost-reduction program is constrained by a 20-year lease signed recently in New York City for 16 floors in a midtown office building.

O‘Kelly did not immediately return a call for comment.

“These changes are the natural next step after last week’s global equities reorganization,” he said in a prepared statement. “After a combined 25 years of working with Mike and Samir, I know the business is in very capable hands.”

Nomura Securities doubled its market share in U.S. stock trading last year, he said, and maintained its top-10 market share in the program trading, derivatives and convertibles areas in which it will still concentrate.

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