Alexander Merzlenko, president and head of investment banking for Russia at Renaissance Capital Ltd., has left after 14 years at the brokerage now owned by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.
“I wanted to take a break and spend some time with my family,” Merzlenko said by mobile today. Merzlenko said he had “no specific plans” to return to the industry.
Merzlenko’s last day was May 30, Anton Trifonov, spokesman for RenCap in Moscow, said by phone, declining to elaborate. After joining the firm in 2000 from Troika Dialog, he led the privatization of rail operator OAO SG-Trans and completed more than 35 deals with a cumulative value of more than $25 billion, according to the brokerage’s website.
His promotion to president in December 2012 followed the sudden departure of co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Jennings. Prokhorov, who bought about 50 percent of RenCap for $500 million more than five years ago, ousted Jennings in November 2012 after rebuffing a request for funding amid losses, two people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.
Equity and debt capital markets have seized up for Russian issuers since the annexation of Crimea in March led to sanctions from the U.S. and the E.U. against companies and Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. Investment banks in Russia earned just $125 million in fees in the year to May 18, a 69 percent drop on the same period last year, according to data compiled by Freeman & Co., a New York-based consulting firm.
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