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Finance

Nomura targets rich young startup founders in China rollout

Brokerage unit to go full service in 5 years with offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen

People overlook the financial district in Shanghai, where Nomura's Chinese brokerage venture is headquartered.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- Top Japanese brokerage group Nomura Holdings aims to offer a full lineup of financial services in China within the next four to five years, starting with wealth management, according to the head of the mainland business.

The group recently launched operations at Nomura Orient International Securities, a majority-owned joint venture established in Shanghai with two state-owned partners, Orient International and Shanghai Huangpu Investment Holding.

The move comes as international financial groups such as JPMorgan gain footholds in China, drawn by deregulation in brokerage and asset management. 

"I believe the industry landscape will solidify in three years," Toshiyasu Iiyama, head of Nomura's in-house China Committee, told Nikkei, stressing the significance of the timing.

Many of China's rich "are young people below their mid-40s, and they run their own businesses," Iiyama said. Nomura aims to turn them into personal banking clients, then offer wholesale services such as fundraising, merger and acquisition advice and initial public offerings.

Nomura Orient will expand from its home office in Shanghai and establish locations in Beijing and Shenzhen next year, Iiyama said. Around 100 people work for the company, but the number "will increase to 400 or 500 people in five years," said Iiyama.

The unit will target talent such as investment bankers with varying types of expertise and experience.

The Chinese economy "is in a slowdown, but growing," said Iiyama. The economic conditions have brought into full relief the excess debts held by regional government authorities, among other risks.

"Demand for wealth protection is growing faster than that for high-risk, high-return financial products," Iiyama said.

Nomura Orient will develop products that leverage the group's strength in global investment diversification. "The defining point is whether the products show Nomura's uniqueness, like our strength in Japanese real estate," he added.

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