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Troika Hires M&A Bankers as Sberbank Tries to Challenge VTB

Troika Dialog, the Russian brokerage acquired by OAO Sberbank, hired mergers and acquisitions specialists Dirk Werner and Angelo Morganti as part of 40 hires to aid its expansion and challenge state rival VTB Capital.

Morganti was hired from Renaissance Capital while Werner has worked for companies including Bank of America Corp., Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Moscow-based Troika said in an e-mailed statement today.

“The importance of Troika’s M&A business to our clients continues to grow as we see the cost of assets in central and eastern Europe decrease and consolidation of businesses increase,” Todd Berman, head of investment banking, said in the statement.

Sberbank Chief Executive Officer German Gref, a former economy minister, is seeking to turn the former Soviet Union’s savings bank into a full-service financial firm that can compete at home and abroad in areas from bond underwriting to stock trading. Troika plans to increase its 100 investment banking employees by 25 percent to 40 percent this year, Berman said in a Nov. 29 interview.

VTB Capital, created from scratch three years ago by VTB Group, was the largest organizer of debt and equity sales last year in Russia, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It ranked 42nd among advisers in Russian M&A deals last year, seven places ahead of Sberbank, the data show.

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