Nomura to hire bankers in Dubai for Middle East push Nomura to hire bankers in Dubai for Middle East push
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Nomura to hire bankers in Dubai for Middle East push

Nomura to hire bankers in Dubai for Middle East push

The Japanese firm has received in-principle approvals from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Dubai Financial Services Authority to set up a branch in the Middle East

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Nomura Holdings is set to offer wealth management services in Dubai as the Japanese firm expands its Middle East presence to tap a growing pool of rich clients and flow of funds to the region.

Adil Khan, group head for Southeast Asia and Middle East, will relocate to Dubai from Singapore to lead the business and plans to hire five to 10 relationship managers, according to Ravi Raju, the Singapore-based head of Nomura’s international wealth management unit, which manages about $13.5bn of assets.

“I’ve seen the growing importance of Dubai for many families doing business in the Indian subcontinent, and other areas in the Middle East and Africa,” Raju said in an interview. “It’s become a big centre like Singapore and traditionally Hong Kong has been for families to establish and grow their base.”

Global banks including Goldman Sachs Group and Deutsche Bank AG are vying to capture a bigger slice of the wealth management market in the Middle East, home to a large number of ultra-wealthy families, entrepreneurs and royals. Dubai in particular has become a top destination for financial professionals leaving Europe or Hong Kong, as well as an influx of capital since the Ukrainian crisis.

Read: Goldman moves more bankers to Dubai in Middle East push

The Japanese firm said it has received in-principle approvals from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Dubai Financial Services Authority to set up a wealth management relationship centre in the Middle East, and will start operations once it gets a licence.

Nomura will target clients with $25m of investable assets and an initial investment of about $5m, Raju said.

More than half of the bankers in its Dubai office will cover the non-resident Indian market, Raju said. The hub will be Nomura’s third offshore wealth centre, after Hong Kong and Singapore, where it books assets.

In Asia, Nomura has hired about 50 relationship managers since 2020, when Raju joined from UBS Group AG, with more than half of these focusing on the Greater China business.

During that time, the firm opened 1,000 new client accounts and added more than $5.5bn in net new money, according to Raju.

This year, the company has slowed hiring “because the market has not been so positive,” Raju said, but it plans to increase the number of relationship managers to between 135 and 150 in the medium term, from around 90 currently.

In China, Nomura’s wealth business has also been impacted by the country’s strict Covid restrictions and an economic slowdown, but Raju expects things to pick up in the next few months. For Indian clients, the firm plans to hire more relationship managers as the Asian nation bounces back after the pandemic.

“While China has remained closed, India has opened,” said Raju. “Because many NRIs have businesses in India, they are doing well.”

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