Nomura hire

Nomura hires Kurtz as head of Asia equity strategy

Formerly with Macquarie, Michael Kurtz joins Nomura after Sean Darby left to become global head of equity strategy at Jefferies.

Nomura has hired Michael Kurtz from Macquarie Securities as chief Asia equity strategist, according to a press release. Kurtz’s appointment comes after long-term Nomura strategist Sean Darby left the firm in June to become global head of equity strategy at Jefferies.

Darby, who started at Jefferies in mid-September, was head of Asia strategy when he left, but his primary focus was on equity strategy, suggesting that Kurtz has been hired to fill that vacant spot.

Kurtz is joining as a managing director based in Hong Kong. He will work closely with Nomura’s economists, country strategists and sector heads, and will be in charge of publishing regional Asia equity strategy, as well as the firm’s Conviction List reports — a list of 20 stocks that the firm recommends investors to hold at any given time.

The stock that has been on the list longest was added in February this year. Four stocks (National Australia Bank, Hyundai Development, Oil Search and TPK Holding) have been added in October. The list is benchmarked against the MSCI AC Pacific ex-Japan index, but doesn’t include Indian equities.

“With over 15 years’ experience in the industry, and 10 of those years working on equity strategy in Asia, [Kurtz] is well placed to provide clients with key strategy ideas and direction for their investment portfolios,” said Stewart Callaghan, head of equity research for Asia ex-Japan.

Kurtz, who is a fluent Mandarin speaker, joined Macquarie as head of China research and China strategy in September 2008 as part of an aggressive build-out of the firm’s equity research team in Asia that started in mid-2007. He has since assumed a wider role as a regional Asia equity strategist. Before moving to Macquarie he spent seven years as head of Asia equity research and equity strategy at Bear Stearns.

Earlier in his career he worked at IDEAglobal in New York as an Asian foreign exchange strategist and at Polyconomics as an emerging markets analyst.

According to the release, Nomura covers more than 1,250 stocks across Asia-Pacific, which it claims is the most extensive research coverage by any investment bank in the region. Its equity strategy team ranked third in Institutional Investor’s 2011 All Asia Research Team survey. Darby, who had worked with Nomura for almost 10 years, was well-known for his thematic research and strategies, and it remains to be seen if Kurtz will assume a similar focus.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.

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