Credit Agricole's Cheuvreux Scales Back Plans for Emerging Europe Coverage

CA Cheuvreux, the equity brokerage unit of Credit Agricole SA, is scaling back operations in emerging Europe, the Middle East and Africa after the regional heads of its research and sales teams left the company, said two people with knowledge of the decision.

Ronald Smith, who ran Cheuvreux’s EMEA research team in London, and Tomas Gatek, chief of the sales group, departed this month, said the people, who declined to be identified because the information hasn’t been released by the company. Andrey Litvin, a metals and mining analyst in London, also was among at least five staff members to exit, the people said.

Cheuvreux will no longer cover Russian companies and isn’t seeking to hire additional bankers for the EMEA region, said a Paris-based spokeswoman for the brokerage, who asked not to be named, citing company policy. Simon Quijano-Evans, a London- based economist and strategist, will continue to cover Russian macroeconomics, she said.

The changes follow the departure of former Chief Executive Officer Francois Simon, who left in May after 30 years at Cheuvreux. He was replaced by his deputy, Jean-Claude Bassien. Bassien didn’t return calls to his office or e-mails. Smith declined to comment by e-mail, while Gatek and Litvin didn’t answer their cell phones.

Simon had said in December that the company would expand its coverage into Russia and hire at least 25 sales and research staff to oversee the EMEA region from London. Smith, the former head of research at closely held Alfa Bank in Moscow, was hired in January to lead the broker’s new EMEA research team.

KBC Groep NV, Belgium’s biggest bank by market value, said in June it was closing its seven-person emerging-market team in London as part of a reorganization required to meet European Commission guidelines.

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