Nomura Jumps Into Prime Broking Fray

Jul 7 2009 | 2:20am ET

With some prime brokers retrenching in Asia, Nomura Holdings senses an opening.

The Japanese financial services giant plans to launch a global prime brokerage by the end of the summer, with a particular focus on building its market share in Asia, Reuters reports.

Siggi Thorkelsson, head of equities in that region, said the firm expects further opportunities in the space to arise as the hedge fund industry bounces back from last year’s disastrous performance and huge redemptions.

Thorkelsson said Nomura, which last year bought the European, Middle Eastern and Asian businesses of Lehman Brothers, hopes to become one of the three or five largest prime brokers in Asia.

“It used to be the case that the barriers to entry were very high as there were a couple of firms that dominated the market,” Thorkelsson told Reuters. “Now those firms have lost a lot of the market share and there’s market share to be gained there.”

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