Nomura Holdings Inc’s top executive was reappointed to the board with the narrowest margin of his reign, raising the stakes for him to succeed with his plan to turn around Japan’s biggest brokerage.

CEO Koji Nagai won the support of 61.7 per cent of shareholders at yesterday’s annual general meeting, down from more than 90% in each of the previous six years, a company filing showed on Tuesday. Chairman Nobuyuki Koga got 62.3 per cent, also the lowest of his tenure.

Nagai has vowed to cut costs at home and abroad after Nomura posted its first fiscal-year loss in a decade. Scrutiny of his performance has intensified since an information leak led to regulatory penalties and prompted an influential proxy advisory firm to recommend voting against him.

“Pressure will continue to be there until a turnaround is accomplished,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners, a firm specialising in event-driven analysis. While a $1.4 billion (Dh6.54 billion) stock buy-back announced last week is a “step in the right direction,” management needs to find ways to increase revenue and profit margins, he said.

Read more about Nagai’s re-election and prospects for succession

Nagai, 60, is Nomura’s longest-serving CEO in more than three decades, having begun his stint in August 2012 after his predecessor resigned in the wake of an insider-trading scandal.

He unveiled plans in April to cut $1 billion of costs from the firm’s struggling global markets and investment banking operations and shut more retail branches at home. In an interview later that month, he signalled that he may step down before the completion of the three-year overhaul as long as it goes smoothly.