Nomura Australia has enacted a succession plan for its local investment banking operations, as head of the division, Ian Maxton, becomes a senior adviser, and bankers John Hanson and Andrew Macgonigal jointly step into his role.
Mr Macgonigal, local head of Nomura’s debt originiation, and Mr Hanson. who leads consumer, retail and healthcare banking, will start in their new roles on August 1, according to an internal memorandum.
The changing of the guard, revealed on AFR.com, means Mr Maxton will continue to be responsible for senior client coverage and executing deals, but it also allows him to accept several external non-executive directorships in addition to his position at Nomura. It also comes amid a surge in mergers and acquisitions this year.
“From my perspective the timing of succession is very important,” Mr Maxton said in an interview. He joined Nomura after a long stint at Deutsche Bank. “Now is a good time because there are green shoots everywhere. I think it is much better to make this kind of change do it when the business has got solid forward momentum.”
Mr Maxton, who helped build Nomura’s Australian investment banking operations in the past six years, joins former National Australia Bank deputy managing director Michael Ullmer as a special adviser to the Tokyo-based firm. Nomura’s local chairman Peter Meurer will continue in his role.
“The most satisfying thing is when you see the younger people coming through,” he said on Wednesday.
Nomura, with about 25 bankers in Australia, has had a busy start to the year, even though the past six years have not been all smooth sailing.
Mr Macgonigal, who joined Nomura in 2010 from Citigroup, said the new structure would work well as it mirrored Nomura’s strengths in other markets while underscoring value in the links between debt and mergers teams.
He also noted that Nomura may look to modestly hire further bankers if transaction momentum is maintained. “If you’re too small you will at some point get to the point where you’ve dropped the ball on origination whilst purely focusing on execution,” he said. Mr Hanson, who also joined from Citigroup, was in Japan when the changes were announced to employees.
Nomura focuses on sectors including financial institutions, consumer and retail, natural resources and financial sponsors, and the local team suggests there is an upcoming deal for the firm in each of those areas.
The firm was alongside buyout firm KKR in its tilt for Treasury Wine Estates and it also advised funds management group IOOF on its acquisition of SFG Australia. On the leveraged finance and debt side, Nomura has worked on senior debt facilities for Inghams Enterprises and acted as a bookrunner and underwriter on a term loan for Nine Entertainment. But winning work was a lot more challenging during a dearth of transactions between 2010 and 2013. Last year, Nomura dismantled the bulk of its equities unit to align with a global mode. The cuts left Nomura without a local equity capital markets capability. Mr Maxton, who has a longstanding relationship with IOOF, has worked on a spate of large deals in the past decade including the purchase by Insurance Australia Group’s of CGU, and State Insurance.
The Australian Financial Review