Nomura cuts top executive pay, suspends businesses after leaks

Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s biggest brokerage, said it will cut top executives’ pay and suspend some operations following an internal probe into leaked information amid a government crackdown on insider trading.

Chief Executive Officer Kenichi Watanabe’s pay will be lowered by 50 percent for six months, while Chief Operating Officer Takumi Shibata’s compensation will be reduced for five months, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement yesterday. The institutional equity sales department will halt business for five days from July 2, it said.

Watanabe, 59, has been under pressure to explain how employees leaked information that third parties used for trading ahead of share sales managed by Nomura in 2010. An internal investigation found that some staff appeared to be “willing to do anything to meet sales targets,” according to the report.

Regulators have yet to complete their inspection of Nomura after finding that its staff gave tips on equity offerings by Inpex Corp., Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. Watanabe told reporters that he wasn’t sure whether there were any other breaches although he doesn’t plan to pursue any more investigations by external parties.

The CEO, who delivered his first personal apology over the company’s involvement at a shareholders’ meeting earlier this week, said he has no plans to resign.

Executive Pay

Watanabe was awarded a basic salary of 108 million yen ($1.4 million) for the year ended March, excluding stock options, Nomura said in a filing to the Finance Ministry this week. Shibata’s annual basic pay totaled 96 million yen. Keiko Sugai, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman, declined to comment on their compensation for the current fiscal year.

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