NEW YORK (
) -- After years of missteps, Japan's
continues to announce high-profile hires as it tries once again to build a top-tier U.S. investment banking operation that can compete with
Bank of America
Among the latest hires announced by Nomura are James Merli, who has been lured away from
to run debt origination and syndicate for the Americas, and Brian Foran, an analyst who had been covering financial institutions for Goldman.
At Barclays, Merli had reported to global fixed income syndicate chief Mark Bamford. Following Merli's departure, which occurred several weeks ago, Bamford divided Merli's responsibilities among different executives.
Glenn Schiffman, the former Lehman Brothers banker in charge of building up Nomura's investment banking business in the U.S., told
in June that he planned to have 100 investment bankers in the U.S. by the end of 2010 and had recruited 65 to that point. A call to Schiffman was not returned. Efforts to reach Merli and Foran were unsuccessful.
Nomura's build-out is in large part tied to the failure of Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy in September 2008. While Barclays acquired Lehman's North American businesses, Nomura has acquired its European and Asian businesses.
Just under a year later, a front page article in
The Wall Street Journal
was headlined "Nomura Stumbles in Global Push." The article described a training session for new hires in which "women including Harvard graduates hired by Lehman Brothers before it collapsed, were taught how to wear their hair, serve tea and choose their wardrobes according to the season."
Nomura's past stumbles have extended to their U.S. trading businesses. The firm wrote off $2 billion in commercial mortgage securities following
, according to
Investment Dealers' Digest
. It also saw $1.5 billion losses tied to subprime real estate in the first quarter of 2008, according to
Written by Dan Freed in New York
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