Nomura axe hangs over 5 pct of European staff

LONDON, Sept 13 Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:24pm EDT

LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Nomura , Japan's biggest investment bank, is set to cut several hundred staff with the bulk of layoffs in Europe, a person familiar with the matter said.

The cuts, which will include almost 300 in Europe and less than 400 globally, will account for about 5 percent of staff in Nomura's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) venture. The cuts could be announced on Wednesday, the source said.

Nomura started aggressive expansion in EMEA when it snapped up some of collapsed Lehman Brothers' European assets in 2008, and has been spending on a big push to crack the United States.

This build-out has come at a tough time, with trading and deal advisory income wilting at many banks in the past quarter as global economic concerns deepened.

Others have also slashed jobs, with Bank of America and Britain's HSBC announcing some of the biggest layoffs. More than 100,000 jobs are set to go globally.

Nomura has about 27,000 staff, with some 4,500 in Europe.

One headhunter familiar with Nomura said cuts could fall in the front office, where some deal advisers or fixed-income traders could be among those leaving.

Nomura ranks outside the top 10 banks for mergers and acquisitions with European involvement, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Nomura declined to comment.

The bank has already cut jobs this year, after curbing its global commodities and energy-trading businesses. (Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by David Hulmes)

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