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SMFG names deputy Nakashima as group CEO after predecessor's death

Man is reflected on a sign outside a branch of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Tokyo

By Makiko Yamazaki and Ritsuko Shimizu

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group said on Thursday it has appointed Deputy President and Executive Officer Toru Nakashima as its group CEO following the death of its previous head, Jun Ohta, last week.

Nakashima's appointment will take effect on Friday, Japan's second-biggest lender said.

Nakashima, 60, joined then-Sumitomo Bank in 1986 and had been Ohta's deputy since April. Ohta died of pancreatic cancer aged 65 on Saturday, the company said earlier this week.

"My first mission is to keep and further grow the positive momentum that has been created under the current midterm business plan," Nakashima told reporters.


He said he had worked closely with his predecessor to compile the business plan, which targets annual net profit of 900 billion yen by March 2026.

Nakashima's appointment comes as SMFG seeks to bolster its global presence through a raft of deals in Asia in recent years, including a $2 billion acquisition of an Indian non-bank lender and an investment in Vietnam's biggest non-bank lender.

It has also invested in Jefferies Financial Group to boost its leveraged finance and cross-border M&A advisory businesses in the United States.

Nakashima said he saw potential for growth in investment banking in the United States and Europe, adding that he plans to reinforce the group's partnership with Jefferies.

In Asia, SMFG has built footholds in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines under Ohta's leadership, he said. "Our next task is to establish strong franchise in these countries," he added.

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim, Makiko Yamazaki and Ritsuko Shimizu; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Christopher Cushing and Miral Fahmy)