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Renaissance Capital’s Varawalla, Konigsberg Said to Leave

Founder Stephen Jennings has tried to transform RenCap from a Russian investment bank into a global emerging-markets firm.  Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
Founder Stephen Jennings has tried to transform RenCap from a Russian investment bank into a global emerging-markets firm. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Renaissance Capital’s Hasnen Varawalla, who led the Moscow-based securities firm’s failed push into markets such as India, and senior adviser Stephen Konigsberg have left the company, according to four people with knowledge of the situation.

Varawalla left at the end of last month, said the people, who declined to be identified as the departure hasn’t been made public. Konigsberg confirmed by phone that he also left at the end of October. An official at the firm in Moscow declined to comment.

RenCap, as the bank is known, has lost market share in Russia to state-controlled VTB Capital and OAO Sberbank, which bought the Troika Dialog securities firm in January. People with knowledge of the situation said earlier this year that RenCap is closing offices in India and Hong Kong, shutting sales, trading and research operations in Kazkahstan and Ukraine and cutting as much as 15 percent of its global workforce as business slows.

Varawalla, who didn’t immediately respond to calls to his mobile phone, was co-chairman of the Macquarie Renaissance infrastructure fund. He was head of new markets investment banking, including operations in sub-Saharan Africa and the Beijing and Hong Kong offices that have since closed.

He joined RenCap as head of corporate finance in 2006 from Credit Suisse AG. Konigsberg, who had been at the firm since 1998, was an adviser to founder Stephen Jennings.

Changing Roles

Jennings has tried to transform RenCap from a Russian investment bank into a global emerging-markets firm. Its operations in sub-Saharan Africa remain open. The bank hired Shu-Ming Peng from Morgan Stanley and Aimee Crane from ING Groep NV last month for sales-trading roles.

Rob Edwards, chairman of RenCap’s metals and mining group, and Sergey Shenderov, head of metals and mining group for Russia and former Soviet nations, are switching their current positions for senior advisory roles, the RenCap official said today.

Edwards spent almost 10 years as an analyst. He was the leading analyst in metals and mining for six years, according to Institutional Investor. Edwards and Shenderov didn’t answer calls to their mobile phones.

Previous Departures

Yonatan Gozdanker, London-based global head of equities, left last month, two years after joining from Citigroup Inc. Alexander Pertsovsky, chairman of the parent company, Renaissance Group, will leave shortly, Vedomosti reported on Oct. 5, citing friends of the executive who weren’t identified.

Pertsovksy, who had been at the bank since 2002, quit as head of RenCap in June, Vedomosti reported at the time. On May 18, the bank said Deputy CEO Andrew Cornthwaite had gone on leave for an indeterminate period.

Soroosh Shambayati, hired as global co-head of markets in Moscow from Nomura Holdings Inc., left in May after less than a year. Peter Krivdin, head of equity derivative sales, said last month he had left for a similar role at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.

Jennings, the bank’s founder, sold half of RenCap to billionaire Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov for $500 million to keep it afloat in September 2008 amid a record rout in Russian stocks. Prokhorov’s Onexim Group extended its influence at the Renaissance parent company in February by taking minority stakes in its consumer-finance unit, London-traded miner Beacon Hill Resources Plc and Ukrainian Agrarian Investments.

Rencap has slumped to 18th in Russian debt and equity sales this year, Bloomberg data shows, compared to fifth last year.

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