UPDATE 1-Lehman Asia veteran Sweeney leaves Nomura-sources
* Kirk Sweeney was 16-year Lehman vet and "old Asia hand"
* Sweeney's departure from Nomura effective Friday - sources
* Sweeney was HK head and Asia head of sales, ex-Japan (Adds details, background, byline)
By Michael Flaherty
HONG KONG, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Kirk Sweeney, a 16-year Lehman Brothers veteran and Nomura's Asia fixed-income sales head, has left the company, sources said on Friday.
Sweeney's departure from Nomura was effective on Friday, sources said. He was among the more senior ex-Lehman bankers in Asia, said the sources, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak publicly about the matter.
Nomura declined to comment.
Sweeney was named head of Lehman's Hong Kong business in May 2004, after nearly 20 years of experience in Hong Kong sales and research. He joined Lehman in 1992.
"He represents a lot of history of Lehman in Asia," said a former colleague who did not want to be named. "He was an 'old Asia hand'."
Lehman's history in Asia saw a series of advances and setbacks, capped off by the collapse of the New York brokerage last September. That collapse spurred a Lehman mini-bond scandal in Hong Kong and Singapore, with retail investors furious about the drop in value of the bonds tied to Lehman's credit rating.
Nomura, Japan's largest brokerage, bought Lehman's Asian and European business after the collapse, saving thousands of jobs and allowing Nomura the chance to quickly expand globally. Nomura initially struggled with the integration, hurt by an economy that only worsened after the deal.
But the bank is beginning to show improvement, thanks to its broadening network across the world and on improving markets. Nomura's first quarter this year reversed a 1-½ year decline. Still, Nomura is seeing departures -- voluntary and involuntary -- of Lehman veterans.
Sources confirmed that last week, ex-Lehman banker Anthony Arnaudy, Nomura's head of debt capital markets, left the bank. Responsibilities for both Arnaudy and Sweeney excluded Japan.
Sweeney and Arnaudy declined to comment. (Reporting by Michael Flaherty; Editing by Chris Lewis)
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