Nomura, the Tokyo-based global investment bank, has hired Zhiwei Zhang as its chief economist for China. The position had been empty since former chief China economist Mingchun Sum moved to rival Japanese firm Daiwa Capital Markets in Novemebr 2010.
Zhang is based in Hong Kong and will lead a team of three economists dedicated to covering China. In addition to his leadership role, he will focus on macroeconomic analysis of the mainland economy.
He took up his position yesterday and reports jointly to Rob Subbaraman, chief economist and co-head of fixed-income research, Asia ex-Japan, and Stewart Callaghan, head of equity research, Asia ex-Japan.
Zhang joins from China International Capital Corporation where he developed thematic and regular reports on macroeconomic issues, and previously headed mainland China research at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, from July 2008 to February 2010. Before that, he spent six years as an economist and analyst at the IMF, covering several economies, including China.
“China has become an extremely important part of the global economy and we are thrilled that someone of [Zhang’s] experience and calibre is joining our global economics team,” said Paul Sheard, Nomura’s New York-based global chief economist in a statement.
Nomura has been strengthening its research effort throughout Asia recently as it pursues its goal of building a global investment bank that is less reliant on Japan’s slow-growth market. Zhang’s appointment is another move in this direction and will add significantly to Nomura’s franchise in the key Chinese market.
Overall, Nomura’s global fixed-income research division, incorporating rates, credit, currencies, commodities and emerging markets comprises 43 economists and 175 client-facing analysts. The firm also offers a global equity research department of 400 analysts covering 2,000 listed stocks.
“Nomura has made significant in-roads in developing best-in-class research by hiring some of the finest talent in the street,” said Paul Norris, head of global markets research.