Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Nomura: Lehman taking shape

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Nomura’s takeover of Lehman Brothers’ European and Asia businesses is yielding results, and concerns the Japanese bank will struggle to marry cultures is misplaced, according to the man who drove the deal.

“It’s a very successful start and we’ve been happy with what we’ve got,” Takumi Shibata, chief operating officer for Nomura, told the Reuters Japan Investment Summit in Tokyo.

“We are finding surprisingly little differences between Lehman in Asia and Europe and Nomura in Asia and Europe. It was a marriage of two multicultural organisations, and both Lehman Brothers and Nomura aspire to be houses with a collegiate culture.”

Nomura had kept most of the Lehman staff it wanted to, has learnt from past international expansion mistakes, and was winning back business lost in the aftermath of the deal, he said.

Expect action in Japanese M&A

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After falling off a cliff at the start of this year as the global financial crisis gripped, mergers and acquisitions by Japanese companies overseas are likely to pick up again in the second half of this year, according to boutique Japanese M&A advisory firm Recof Corp.

There won’t be a flood of deals, Recof President Hikari Imai says, but the ones there are, are likely to be chunky as Japanese companies expand their frontiers beyond domestic markets where growth prospects are limited.

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