By Emi Emoto and Sinead Cruise
TOKYO/LONDON (Reuters) - Schroders plc has appointed Shigesuke Kashiwagi, former Chief Financial Officer of Nomura Holdings, as its president and country head of Japan, the London-listed global asset manager said in a statement issued exclusively to Reuters.
Kashiwagi, a well known figure in Japan's financial industry, abruptly left Nomura in March, shortly before the country's biggest investment bank announced a major management overhaul, including the appointment of a new chief operating officer.
Kashiwagi, 56, had been expecting to be promoted to the role, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, and his exit had raised questions about whether he had clashed with Nomura's senior management over the company's future business strategy.
As head of Schroders in Asia's largest investment market, he will drive its growth plans at a time when asset management firms are seeking opportunities from a campaign by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to shift household funds out of bank deposits and into investment to rev up the economy.
Both Japanese and foreign asset managers see potential for big growth in the industry given the heavy concentration of household assets in deposits.
Japanese households have 1,740 trillion yen ($16.2 trillion) in financial assets, with more than half in cash and deposits, Bank of Japan data shows. Mutual funds and stock investments account for only 15 percent.
In comparison, cash and deposits make up only 14 percent of U.S. households' financial assets, with mutual funds and stock investments accounting for nearly half, BOJ data shows.
Based in Tokyo, Kashiwagi will report to Lieven Debruyne, Schroders Asia-Pacific Chief Executive Officer. He succeeds Guy Henriques, who will return to a role in Britain, and will take up his post from July 1.
"The appointment of an executive with Shigesuke's unrivalled experience and financial industry knowledge highlights our continued commitment to growth in Japan," Peter Harrison, Group Chief Executive at Schroders said in the statement.
Kashiwagi was not immediately available for comment.
He joined Nomura Securities in 1982, completed an MBA at New York University and worked in Nomura's New York office as a fixed income trader through 1990. He later became CEO of Nomura Holding America.
Kashiwagi said in the statement he was delighted to be joining Schroders.
(Reporting Emi Emoto and Sinead Cruise; Writing by Denny Thomas; Editing by Richard Pullin)