June 24, 2019 / 4:31 AM / 2 months ago

Nomura shareholders vote to keep embattled CEO

FILE PHOTO: Nomura Holdings' Chief Executive Officer Koji Nagai attends an interview with Reuters in Tokyo, Japan, February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Nomura Holdings Inc won shareholder approval on Monday for the re-appointment of its chief executive officer, overcoming concerns about the leaking of market information and its first annual loss in a decade.

CEO Koji Nagai kept his job despite opposition from influential proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc, which had recommended shareholders vote against his re-appointment.

The vote was in effect an endorsement of Nagai’s efforts to turn around the investment bank, which reported an annual loss in April and said it would not pay out bonuses to directors.

Nomura was ordered by the financial watchdog last month to improve its internal controls following the leak of information related to listing and delisting criteria at the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

“We sincerely apologize for causing great trouble and worry to investors,” Nagai told the annual general meeting on Monday. All the executives on stage bowed in contrition following his remarks.

The meeting lasted for more than three hours as shareholders threw questions at executives. When asked why he did not resign, Nagai said he felt a duty to “steadily proceed with business improvement measures”.

Nomura has said an employee from its Nomura Research Institute affiliate leaked information about expected changes to listing rules to the chief strategist of its securities arm, who informed sales staff. The sales staff then told clients.

Nagai, who became the group CEO in 2012, has said he will take a 30% pay cut for three months over the scandal.

While Nomura’s share price has been trending down, it surged more than 10% last week after the firm announced a $1.4 billion buyback. It rose 0.3% in Monday’s trading.

Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by Stephen Coates

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