In May, Nomura announced the formation of its institutional digital assets subsidiary. Today the company confirmed it has set up Laser Digital Holdings in Switzerland, with the first focus area as Laser Venture Capital. That sends a clear message that its target market is global, not just Japan.
We believe that the company is already in business because we reported in July that Nomura and SBI were collaborating on venture capital investments in web3 tokens and it made a venture investment in AllInfra in May.
Laser VC plans to invest in DeFi, centralized finance (CeFi), web3 and blockchain infrastructure.
As previously announced, the digital assets Chairman is Steve Ashley, who cedes his role as head of Nomura‘s wholesale division to spearhead Laser Digital. He chaired the global trade body GFMA until earlier this year.
The Laser Digital CEO will be Dr. Jez Mohideen, who was Chief Digital Officer of Nomura’s wholesale side based in the UAE. Before joining Nomura more than four years ago, he spent four years as a partner at Brevan Howard in London.
Other sectors in which Laser Digital plans to launch are secondary trading of digital assets and investor products.
“Staying at the forefront of digital innovation is a key priority for Nomura. This is why, alongside our efforts to diversify our business, we announced earlier this year that Nomura would be setting up a new subsidiary focused (on) digital assets,” said Kenaro Okuda, Group CEO of Nomura Holdings.
Ashley’s successor as Head of Wholesale Division at Nomura is Christopher Wilcox, who is also becoming an Executive Officer of Nomura Holdings, a first for a non-Japanese national.