It's Nomura's full year results day. Some deeply weird things have come to pass. Firstly Nomura has voluntarily divulged that it doesn't actually do women in its London and New York offices. Secondly, Nomura's fixed income currencies and commodities business had an extraordinarily good 2014.
Spot the women at Nomura
In these days of women wearing trousers and expressing opinions outside of the home, it's usual for organisations to employ nearly equal amounts of women to men. In situations where the quantity of men far outweighs the quantity of women, it's usual for organisations to a) keep quiet about it, or b) announce serious remedial action. Nomura is doing neither.
The chart below, taken from Nomura's annual report, reveals that women account for 30% of the employees at its EMEA operations and for 26% of its staff in the Americas. Nomura operates primarily as an investment bank in both regions.
Women at Nomura, or not:
The poor proportion of women at Nomura comes after the the Japanese bank was lambasted for several sexist goings on at its New York office back in 2009. Back then, female employees were reportedly being taught how to dispense tea to clients and were given advice on appropriate hairstyles. Five years on, the bank doesn't appear to have made much headway with its diversity-drive. So, what does Nomura plan to do about this? It's all fairly non-specific. Nonura says it has a 'diversity and inclusion policy' that values people regardless of gender. It also runs a network for women in the workplace. That's fine, as long as there are actually women to network with.
In the meantime, Nomura's senior management looks a bit like this. Spot the odd one out.
Nomura's FICC business has fallen down a wormhole
Separately, during a year in which most banks had a terrible time in fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) trading, Nomura achieved a stand out performance.
As a reminder, Goldman's FICC revenues fell 13% last year, Deutsche's fell 20% and Barclays' were down 17%. Nomura, on the other hand said today that:
"Our Fixed Income franchise reported market share gains across all major products and delivered its best performance in three years, driven by steady client flows on the back of worldwide monetary easing."
Is Nomura the best bank to work for in FICC?
Six special hires made by Goldman, Credit Suisse, Citi and Nomura in February. And what they mean for you
So, should women avoid Japanese banks?