In this photo illustration the Nomura Holdings, Inc. logo is seen displayed on a smartphone

Japan’s largest investment bank Nomura dives into digital assets with new subsidiary

A new report revealed that the largest investment bank in Japan is getting into the digital asset industry and will target institutional investors. Nomura will launch a new subsidiary focusing on digital assets and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), sources say.

The report by the Financial Times revealed that the new subsidiary would have 100 staff members initially. Some of them will be sourced from Nomura’s existing banking operations, with the bank going on an extensive hiring spree to fill up the other spots.

According to sources with knowledge of the matter, the new subsidiary is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.

Nomura is one of Japan’s largest banks with a focus on investment banking. As of Q1 this year, it had $569 billion in assets under management. But despite being immensely successful with its existing business model, the bank believes it could lose an edge over its rivals if it fails to get into digital assets early.

“If we don’t do this, then it’s going to be more difficult down the line to be competitive,” one executive told FT. 

Nikkei Asia offered further insight into the upcoming subsidiary, including that it might start operations this year, although it won’t be in full capacity until the end of 2023. This unit will be based outside Japan, and its board members will include several people currently working at Nomura, the newspaper claimed.

“This is a major step forward as we look to scale up our digital asset related businesses and investments,” Steve Ashley, the head of the wholesale division at Nomura, stated, commenting on the latest development. 

“The new company will enable us to build an edge in providing institutional clients with access to a wide range of new products and services and contribute meaningfully towards responsible innovation in the digital asset ecosystem,” Ashley, who has been tapped to chair the new operation, added.

The news has come just over a month since the Japanese government announced that it would revise its digital asset exchange laws to plug Russia’s sanction evasion loophole. 

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