Nomura Shuffles Management and Names Digital Unit
Posted by Colin Lambert. Last updated: September 27, 2022
Nomura Holdings has named Steve Ashley as chairman of its newly-rebranded digital assets business, Laser Digital Holdings. Jez Mohideen will serve as CEO of the unit.
Christopher Willcox will replace Ashley as head of Nomura’s wholesale division, he has also been appointed the first non-Japanese executive officer of the business with effect from 1 October 2022. Wilcox will additionally, in close collaboration with the group corporate officers, jointly oversee the bank’s international corporate functions and ensure close connectivity with its wholesale business.
Following Willcox’s appointment, Satoshi Kawamura has been designated to succeed him in the roles of CEO and president of Nomura Holding America and Nomura Securities International. In addition, Vincent Primiano, will be appointed co-CEO and co-president of Nomura Holding America and will provide day-to-day oversight of the Americas business. Primiano will also be appointed as co-CEO of Nomura Securities International.
“Chris’ previous experience working across investment banking and asset management, and the 18 months he has spent so far expanding our US platform, makes him well placed to take over as head of wholesale division,” says Kentaro Okuda, Nomura Holdings president and group CEO. “I extend my appreciation to Steven Ashley for his commitment to the growth of our wholesale business over the past 12 years. Steven’s leadership will be critical to the growth and success of our new digital asset business.”
Willcox joined Nomura in May last year, before which he was CEO of JP Morgan Asset Management. Prior to this, he was head of global fixed income and liquidity at JP Morgan Asset Management and global head of rates at JP Morgan’s investment bank. Before joining JP Morgan, he served in various roles at Citi over a 15-year period.
On the digital assets business, Okuda says, “Staying at the forefront of digital innovation is a key priority for Nomura. This is why, alongside our efforts to diversify our business, we announced earlier this year that Nomura would be setting up a new subsidiary focused digital assets. We look forward to sustainable growth in this new business under the leadership of Steven and Jez.“
Over the coming months, Nomura says Laser Digital will announce new services and product lines as it moves ahead with the staged launch of the business. The company will focus on three core areas: secondary trading, venture capital and investor products. The first product to launch will be Laser Venture Capital, which will invest in companies in the digital ecosystem, with a focus on decentralised and centralised finance, Web3 and blockchain infrastructure.