The most senior foreign executive at Japanese bank Nomura has resigned, the company confirmed Wednesday, as the firm struggles to compete on the world stage.
Jasjit Bhattal, the head of Nomura's wholesale division, handed in his notice after being unable to galvanise support for a more radical shake-up of the bank's global operations, the Wall Street Journal had reported.
Nomura, in common with investment banks around the world, has struggled with yo-yoing stock and bond prices, poor merger prospects and tightening regulation in the wake of the global financial crisis.
The firm posted a net loss of 46.1 billion yen ($590 million) in the July-September 2011 quarter and said it would make $1.2 billion in cuts, through reduced staffing and smaller bonuses.
Bhattal, a former Lehman Brothers executive, had been unable to force through the radical steps he believed were needed to right the bank and improve its bottom line, the Wall Street Journal said, citing unnamed sources.
The paper said as part of the restructuring of Bhattal's operation, Tarun Jotwani, the London-based head of the global markets division, will also step down.
Bhattal, who is of Indian origin, was the first foreigner to join Nomura's executive committee and his resignation further highlights the difficulties Japanese firms have as they try to branch out abroad and adopt Western business models.
Last week ousted Olympus president and chief executive Michael Woodford dropped his campaign to get his old job back after blowing the whistle on a multi-million-dollar accounting scandal that had been covered up by many of his Japanese fellow board members.
Nomura has struggled to compete against global investment banks because of its relatively small size and lower credit rating.
The company began an aggressive expansion drive when it bought Lehman Brothers' European and Asian businesses in 2008. But profitability has proved problematic and its stock price has dropped around 80 percent since then.
Observers said the package of cuts announced in November effectively signalled Nomura's scaling back of its ambitions to become a global firm in every field of business.
A company spokeswoman told AFP Wednesday that Bhattal's departure was his own decision.
In a statement issued Tuesday Nomura said Bhattal had decided to retire, adding that his responsibilities will be assumed on an interim basis by Nomura Group chief operating officer Takumi Shibata.
"(Bhattal) has had a distinguished career, spanning nearly three decades in the industry," the statement said.
"We would like to thank him for his contribution in leading the wholesale business through exceptionally difficult markets, growing market share across all key product lines and helping to transform the franchise."
"He leaves Nomura well-positioned in terms of depth of management talent and client relationships to establish us as Asia's number one global investment bank. We wish him well in his future endeavours."