How easy is it to make MD at Nomura?

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Nomura International just appointed some new managing directors (MDs) in London. Financial News reports that the Japanese bank elevated 15 of its Europe-based staff in its recent round of promotions.

This doesn't bode well if you're a London-based Nomura banker hoping to make it to the top. Nomura has 938 staff registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the City (current MDs included). This suggests an overall MD promotion rate of around 2%.

That's disappointing. Late last year, the Financial Times claimed that Nomura had an MD problem - too many of the bank's senior staff were purportedly waiting for their stock to vest before retiring. Nomura needed to hire more vice presidents (VPs) to promote to MD, said the FT. VPs who joined Nomura on this basis may now be finding that things aren't working out as they'd planned.

Nomura's low rate of promotions is nothing unusual - J.P. Morgan's looks similar. However, it's particularly galling for Nomura insiders as the bank has a reputation for paying its London MDs abnormally well. 

It's also worth bearing in mind, however, that MD isn't the pinnacle of the hierarchy at Nomura. The bank also has 'senior MDs' who are promoted on a different schedule and form part of its senior management. The chart below, taken from Nomura's most recent Pillar 3 report for 2014, suggests it's these senior MDs who garner most of the bank's high pay.

How high pay is distributed between top staff at Nomura International: 

Nomura code staff

Source: Nomura 

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