* Targeting members of employee stock ownership plans
* Nomura administers around 60 pct of such plans
* Nomura to boost online, phone access to product
By Thomas Wilson and Emi Emoto
TOKYO, April 13 Japan's Nomura Holdings Inc
aims to leverage its access to about 1.6 million
members of employee stock ownership plans to tap a new
generation of customers as its client base greys.
The country's largest brokerage is administrator for about 60
percent of people in such plans at listed companies, and can do
more to engage with them, Nomura Securities President Toshio
Morita told Reuters in an interview.
Nomura aims to recruit younger plan members by boosting web
and phone access to information on its products, Morita said.
That could help it secure long-term clients, manage more assets
and generate stabler revenue sources.
"Until now, we've relied on these people coming to us after
retirement or visiting our branches," said Morita, Nomura
Securities chief from this month. "We'll connect with them by
phone and online, enriching the way we provide information."
Thirty- and forty-somethings are crucial for Nomura - and
peers including Daiwa Securities Group Inc and SMBC
Nikko Securities Inc - to build a new generation of clients as
Japan's population shrinks.
Younger generations are often tech-savvy but lack investment
experience and tend to choose low-cost internet securities firms
like SBI Holdings Inc, online brokerages said.
As of March last year, 2.6 million people owned shares worth
4.7 trillion yen ($43.2 billion) through employee stock
ownership plans, Tokyo Stock Exchange data showed.
Nomura is administrator for 1.6 million people, according to
Reuters calculations based on a 60 percent share.
Nomura's domestic-focused retail arm has suffered since 2014
as investor optimism at government reflationary policies was
replaced by concern over negative interest rates and the failure
to end deflation.
In April-December, Nomura's pretax profit plummeted nearly
60 percent year-on-year, compounding a one-third decline from
2014 through 2016. In the same periods, Daiwa's profit fell 63
percent and 40 percent respectively.
The gloomy results come as Nomura shifts its focus to
earning recurring revenue via consulting services and managing
assets, rather than commission from securities. The brokerage
aims to cover 50 percent of costs via recurring revenue by 2020.
Analyst Hideyasu Ban at Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities said
cuts to the retail division's cost base may be necessary to
complete the transformation.
As of December, Nomura employed some 16,450 people in Japan.
It had 158 branches, unchanged since 2013.
Morita, however, said he intends to boost resilience to
stock market swings through the new business model.
"I'm always thinking of how to reduce costs," he said. "But
I'm not thinking of cuts to staff numbers."
($1 = 108.8200 yen)
(Reporting by Thomas Wilson and Emi Emoto; Editing by