“The real key to longevity in this industry is preserving your credibility with clients,” says Richard Sherlund. He should know. Sherlund, a 24-year veteran of Goldman, Sachs & Co., appeared on the All-America Research Team 34 times — including 17 straight years at No. 1 in Software — from 1985 through 2006. He left the firm in 2007 to manage money. “It’s a lot of fun, in a way, because you are skimming along at a higher level — you don’t have the luxury of going deep,” Sherlund says. “And it really makes you appreciate the value of a good sell-side analyst.”
Sherlund proved his worth as an analyst many times over. “He tries to anticipate trends while his competitors are recording history,” one client told us in 1992. “They’re looking in the rearview mirror while he’s gazing through the windshield — with binoculars.”
Nomura Securities International lured Sherlund, 57, back from the buy side in March to lead its U.S. technology research team; the Japanese bank is a relative newcomer to the Americas, but since acquiring the Asian and European operations of Lehman Brothers Holdings in the fall of 2008, it has been aggressively positioning itself as a global player. Bagging Sherlund is unquestionably a feather in Nomura’s cap.
“Nomura is really serious about building a top-drawer research firm,” he says. “It is nice to be at a firm that is building up instead of scaling down.”
Sherlund, a graduate of Cornell University, is best known for his work on Microsoft Corp. He was with Goldman Sachs when the bank helped take the company public, in 1986, and has followed the software giant ever since — and continues to track it for Nomura.