Ex-Nomura heavyweight Shibata joins Nikko Asset ahead of IPO

TOKYO, June 6 Thu Jun 6, 2013 3:29am EDT

TOKYO, June 6 (Reuters) - Takumi Shibata, the former No.2 executive at Japanese brokerage Nomura Holdings Inc, will become chairman of Nikko Asset Management in an appointment the mutual fund giant said would bolster governance ahead of a planned listing of its shares.

Nikko Asset, Japan's third-largest mutual fund manager with 15.3 trillion yen ($154 billion) of assets under management, said in a statement that Shibata would become chairman on July 1, taking charge of governance related matters.

Shibata will assume the post from Charles Beazley, who had been serving as chairman, president and CEO following the departure of two senior executives. Beazley will stay as president and CEO and focus on day-to-day operations.

Nikko Asset said separating the chairman and CEO posts would bring it in line with common corporate governance practices and put it one step closer to achieving its long-held goal of an initial public offering (IPO).

"This is especially important for a company that intends to IPO and needs the scrutiny of the international markets," Beazley said in the statement.

Shibata, 60, is one of Japan's most high-profile financial executives. He helped orchestrate Nomura's controversial acquisition of the Asian and European parts of failed Wall Street bank Lehman Brothers in 2008.

Shibata resigned as COO of Nomura last year along with other top executives in the wake of a scandal involving brokerage staff tipping off clients ahead of public share offerings. Shibata stayed on as an advisor before closing out a 37-year career with the Nomura in March.

Beazley noted Shibata's experience both in Japan and overseas. Among his key positions, Shibata ran Nomura's European business from London and headed the broker's asset management arm in Tokyo. He holds a degree from Harvard Business School.

Nikko Asset, owned by Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc, has floated and abandoned plans to list its shares a handful of times, including most recently in 2011 when it shelved its IPO amid the European debt crisis.

($1 = 99.2600 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Chikafumi Hodo and Nathan Layne; Editing by Matt Driskill)

FILED UNDER: