The shock move will be a major blow to the Japanese brokerage. It will now begin the arduous search for a replacement for a banker whose tenure has been seen as a huge success story.
Sayeed will remain in place until a successor is appointed. A spokesman for the firm said he is not going to a rival firm.
Sayeed, 56, has been at Nomura for 10 years. He oversaw the purchase of the European operations of Lehman Brothers in the wake of its collapse for a nominal fee of £1.50. He was also in charge of the integration of the firm into Nomura’s operations.
Under his guidance the firm has reclaimed Lehman’s prestigious position as London’s top cash equities trader. Sayeed, originally from Pakistan, joined Nomura after 14 years at Credit Suisse.
His departure was announced just a week after Nomura revealed a management shake-up that included changes to top European positions, including the promotion of Rachid Bouzouba to co-head of global equities.