Nomura Holdings Inc. will cut top managers’ pay and is considering a temporary halt to some operations as Japan’s largest brokerage looks to resolve a costly insider trading scandal, sources with knowledge of the matter said.
A Nomura management committee will meet on Friday to approve the pay cuts and other measures as the result of an internal investigation the brokerage has been scrambling to complete by the end of this month.
The Nomura report, prepared by a team of outside lawyers, will detail a failure in compliance that allowed employees to tip off clients ahead of at least three planned share offerings it also underwrote, the sources said.
Nomura will cut the salaries of Chief Executive Officer Kenichi Watanabe and other executives, dismiss a handful of employees and restructure its institutional sales division in an effort to resolve an investigation that dates back to 2011, the sources said.
Nomura is also considering suspending some sales operations for a period of at least one week, possibly more. The broker is still working out final details in consultation with financial regulators, one of the sources said.
The probe has been costly for Nomura. Some asset managers have stopped trading with it and it has lost underwriting business, including being left off a government sale of $6-billion(U.S.) worth of shares in Japan Tobacco, sources said.
The sources were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Nomura declined to comment.
Earlier this month, Nomura confirmed it was the source of leaks on planned share offerings by energy firm Inpex, Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc. .
In all three cases, employees at its institutional sales department tipped off clients who profited from the information.
Mr. Watanabe had said this week he was aiming to complete the internal investigation by the end of the month. The report has been seen as key to determining the scale of the sanctions the brokerage will face, sources have said.
While regulators have viewed the report as a way for Nomura to clean up on its own terms, it was not immediately clear if the report would go far enough to satisfy regulators who have been frustrated by Nomura’s unwillingness to acknowledge widespread compliance failures, sources said.
Japan’s Securities Exchange and Surveillance Commission, which sent investigators into Nomura’s Tokyo offices in late April, began reviewing Nomura’s findings this week, sources said.
The SESC plans to continue its investigation until it can verify the findings of Nomura’s report and recommend sanctions to the Financial Services Agency, which oversees the securities watchdog and enforces penalties.
The announcement of regulatory sanctions was now expected in July, sources have said.
The size of the cut to the salaries of Mr. Watanabe and others was not immediately known.
The 59-year old Mr. Watanabe was paid ¥128-million ($1.6-million U.S.) in the year to end-March, including stock options, according to a regulatory filing this week.
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