Sunday, January 16

Japan’s Nomura to start new grads in call center as sales change -sources

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TOKYO — The brokerage arm of Japan’s Nomura Holdings Inc will send new-graduate employees to work at its call center for their first year to expose them to dealing with customers over the phone, two people familiar with the matter said.

The move is Nomura’s latest pivot from a traditional emphasis on face-to-face sales, which have been under pressure since before the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the rise in popularity of online brokerages.

Nomura Securities, the country’s largest brokerage, will send almost all of its 350 new-graduate hires to work at the call center after they join the company in April, said the people, who declined to be identified because the information is not public.

“Given we have fewer chances to meet customers directly, new graduates will be able to get experience by hearing a lot of customers’ voices at the call center,” one of them said.

Nomura declined to comment.

Nomura would be Japan’s first major brokerage to make such a change.

Japan’s biggest corporations traditionally hire new graduates all at once each year to replace retiring employees. New graduates tend to be rotated between departments during their first few years.

At Nomura, many new hires spend their first years working in a branch, learning the “shoe-leather” sales culture of going out, meeting customers and trying to sell investment products.