Nomura hires RBS strategist

NOMURA, Japan’s largest brokerage, has made its latest high-profile hire by poaching Benito Berber from state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland as an emerging markets forex strategist.

Berber is on gardening leave and will start in the coming months, it is understood. He follows in the footsteps of ex-RBS colleagues Steve Ashley and Chris Fleming, who joined Nomura in May. The Japanese company also hired Michael Hill and James DeNaut from Deutsche Bank to jointly head up its natural resources team earlier this month.

Nomura is hungry for staff as it continues its evolution from a Far Eastern player to a global franchise. The business is understood to be looking for 60 more investment bankers in the US by the end of the year, as well as 200 equities analysts around the world.

A source close to Nomura said the brokerage was seeing remarkably low levels of employee churn since buying Lehman Brothers’ European operation 18 months ago. For example, turnover levels in its fixed income division are around four per cent, which may necessitate redundancies in the medium term.

Referring to a policy operated by rivals such as Goldman Sachs, the source said: “It’s a case of ‘up or out’.”

In contrast, 83 per cent-government owned RBS haemorrhaged more than 1,000 traders from its global banking and markets unit last year as talented workers rejected the pay limits and stigma attached to the taxpayer bailout.