Nomura Holdings Group chief executive Kenichi Watanabe will resign to take responsibility for an embarrassing insider trading scandal at the firm, a report said on Thursday.
Kenichi Watanabe (L), Nomura Holdings CEO, and Koji Nagai, Nomura Securities president
The report comes after the top Japanese brokerage firm said last month it would temporarily cut its most senior executives' pay by as much as half following a scandal involving leaks of insider information to clients.
Watanabe had said he had no intention of resigning when his firm announced measures to prevent a repeat on June 29. But the company and its top executive have apparently concluded that more significant action is needed to regain public trust, the business daily Nikkei reported, without citing sources.
Japan's Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) has reportedly found that Nomura's salespeople leaked privileged information linked to capital increases by Inpex, Mizuho Financial Group and Tokyo Electric Power Co. to clients in 2010 in cases where the brokerage acted as a lead manager.
"We can't comment on reports based on speculation," Nomura spokeswoman Keiko Sugai said.
Japan's market regulators have been probing a series of insider trading cases as they ramp up their investigation of the widespread practice.
Last month, Japan's top-selling Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said Tokyo's bourse would search the offices of dozens of brokerage houses as part of a wider investigation.
In June the SESC also called for a New York firm to be slapped with a 14.7 million yen (USD190,000) penalty for trading on confidential information about a share sale by Tokyo Electric Power in 2010.
That was its first-ever action against a foreign company for insider trading.
The probes have also focused on share sales reportedly underwritten by US-based investment bank JPMorgan.