Nomura faces £3m claim as third trader sues

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The Independent Online

The Japanese investment bank Nomura is being sued for £3m by another former employee who claims his annual bonus was a fraction of what was owed.

The claim by Piero Burragato, who ran Nomura's Italian equity sales business in London until the end of July, is the third in as many weeks by former members of the bank's staff.

More are thought likely since an exodus of Nomura's senior staff in London over the summer.

Mr Burragato alleges that Nomura failed properly to credit him for trades and deals in which he was involved and which should have yielded an annual bonus for 2005 of about £2m. He received £53,000 on top of a £100,000 salary. This, he claims, was deliberately set low because Nomura wanted to squeeze him out. His grievances were dismissed by Nomura's internal inquiry, and during an appeal heard by David Benson, the bank's chief operating officer, and its head of human resources Stephen Sidebottom.

Mr Burragato, a former Nomura director, then filed his claim at the Central London Employment Tribunal under the Public Disclosure Act, which is legislation intended to protect whistleblowers. He and several other former Nomura employees who have lodged claims against the bank are being advised by Ferguson Solicitors. Ferguson said it would lodge a claim in the High Court on behalf of Mr Burragato for unfair dismissal and breach of contract.

Nomura disputes Mr Burragato's claims. In a statement it said: "Nomura believes Piero Burragato's whistleblowing claim is entirely without foundation, contrary to the spirit of the legislation and at best misconceived.

"The only thing that is strikingly similar in these claims is the role of Ferguson. We have met all our legal obligations and will continue to treat all our employees fairly and reasonably.

"Our internal accounting and profit allocation procedures are entirely fair and transparent, in line with globally accepted best practice."

Mr Burragato claims he is entitled to as much as half of the profits he made for the bank last year. During 2005, he and the Italian team were involved in deals that generated €70m (£47m) for the bank, he alleges.

The bank is already facing a High Court claim for £8m from another former employee, Luis Marti-Sanchez, Nomura's former head of structured finance in London. He alleges his annual bonus of £1.3m was considerably less than he was promised.

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