Kenichi Watanabe stepped down as head of Japan’s top investment bank over an insider trading scandal as the bank’s internal investigation found a “high possibility” that more cases would emerge.
Reuters reported Thursday that Koji Nagai was named the new CEO of Nomura as Watanabe and the chief operating officer, Takumi Shibata, both were ousted over insider information leaks to clients of its securities unit in 2010. Nagai had taken over that unit in April; Atsushi Yoshikawa, the head of U.S. operations, succeeds Shibata as COO. Both men’s appointments are effective Aug. 1.
Watanabe and Shibata had been the moving forces behind Nomura’s takeover of Lehman Brothers’ Asian and European assets, and their departure calls that strategy into question.
This was the third insider trading scandal since Watanabe became CEO four years ago. While Nomura had cut his pay and that of Shibata a month ago, that response did not satisfy the bank and the leadership revamp resulted.
Jim Sinegal, an analyst with Morningstar, said in the report, “When you look at their history, the number of scandals, this was the last straw.”