Steve Ashley, head of trading and investment banking at Nomura Securities, will step down from his current role to take over the helm of the company’s new digital assets subsidiary, Lazer Digital Holdings AG. Nomura’s crypto-focused division is focused on institutional investors, and the company sees new business as a “significant” way to boost profits.
Nomura’s new digital assets division to provide services related to cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and NFTs
Japanese financial services firm Nomura has announced that Steve Ashley, head of its investment banking division, will step down from his duties leading the firm’s digital assets business. Nomura’s newly formed cryptocurrency arm, Lazer Digital Holdings, will be based in Switzerland.
The move means Ashley will assume the role of chairman of a crypto business focused on providing institutional investors access to crypto-related products and services. According to Bloomberg, the head of cryptocurrency subsidiary Jez Mohydeen will become CEO of Laser Digital Holdings.
The decision follows Nomura’s announcement earlier this year that it would create “a new digital asset firm that will offer institutional investors a comprehensive suite of trading, investment products and investment services.” These products and services include cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other digital assets, Nomura said.
Ashley’s appointment as head of Nomura’s wholesale business last year last year as co-CEO of Nomura’s US subsidiary following the collapse of Arquegos, the family office that controlled Bill Huang’s funds. It was taken over by Christopher Wilcox who joined the company. Nomura’s wholesale division lost $2.9 billion in deals with the defunct company, leading to the suspension of some executives.
Despite last year’s troubles, Nomura Securities remains Japan’s largest brokerage firm. Last month, Japanese regulators said they were considering amending tax laws to boost local cryptocurrency startups.
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Nomura’s crypto push is a ‘significant part’ of company’s attempt to turn a profit, says CEO
Nomura first entered the cryptocurrency space when it announced in May this year that it had launched Bitcoin over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. The move comes shortly after cryptocurrency prices began to fall due to the challenging macroeconomic environment and geopolitical tensions.
Kentaro Okuda, the company’s CEO, said Nomura’s foray into the digital asset space is a “critical part” of the company’s efforts to boost profits. is critical to the growth and success of our new digital asset business.”
The cryptocurrency market continues to face headwinds after falling again earlier this week before the Fed hikes rates again later today to curb raging inflation. Bitcoin and Ether have fallen more than 50% in the last six months.
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About the author
Tim Fries is the co-founder of The Tokenist. he has a bachelor’s degree He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago Booth earned his MBA from the School of Business. Tim is a Senior Associate on the investment team in RW Baird’s US Private Equity division and co-founder of Protective Technologies Capital, an investment firm that specializes in sensing, protection and control solutions.