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UPDATE 1-Japan's Nomura ends financial adviser era, to move 1,500 jobs

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TOKYO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nomura will no longer employ financial advisers in its retail division and plans to move more than 1,500 employees to other roles from April as a result, the investment bank and brokerage told Reuters.

A spokesman confirmed the revamp after two sources told Reuters of the plan, which comes amid a turnaround programme announced last year when Nomura suffered its first annual loss in a decade.

Like Nomura’s regular sales force, financial advisers sell stocks and bonds to retail investors, but their pay is weighted more towards commission and some high performing advisers can earn more than Nomura branch managers, the sources said.

Nomura introduced financial advisers in 1998, in a first for Japan’s domestic financial services industry.

Although the roles do basically the same job, there was a lack of cooperation because they are independent of each other, the sources who declined to be identified said.

Advisers will now be moved to a regular salary instead of a commission, the sources said. That has sparked some concern that high earners may leave the company, one added.

The Nomura spokesman said the revamp was not aimed at cutting costs, but at increasing customer satisfaction.

Nomura is aiming for about 140 billion yen in cost cuts by March 2022, and says it has achieved about 85% of this as of the end of September.

While its retail division has been a stable earner, revenue has looked weaker in the first half of this fiscal year.

The retail business accounted for 21% of Nomura’s total revenue in the six month through September, compared with wholesale segment which produced 57%. (Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by David Dolan, Himani Sarkar and Alexander Smith)

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