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Sberbank Strategist Weafer Leaves a Day After Deputy Quit

March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Chris Weafer has left his position as chief strategist at the investment banking unit of OAO Sberbank, bringing to an end his second stint at the subsidiary of Russia’s largest lender.

Weafer, who was head of research at Troika Dialog in the late 1990s, returned in 2011 after Sberbank announced it was buying the Moscow-based brokerage, Russia’s oldest. His deputy Ovanes Oganisian departed because of “personal plans,” according to a statement yesterday.

Irishman Weafer did not return phone calls or e-mails seeking to confirm the move, which Sberbank publicized in an e-mailed statement. Andy Smith, head of equity research at Sberbank Investment Banking, will assume Weafer’s duties until a new chief strategist is appointed, according to the statement.

German Nikonenko, a senior trader, and salesman Boris Krasnenkov also departed the firm, the Moscow-based bank said in a statement March 5. Nikolay Shamkhalyan, a junior futures trader, also left, according to Sberbank, which said the departures related to their “respective personal plans.”

Rated Russia’s top equity strategist by Thomson Extel in 2007, Weafer was previously ING Groep NV’s head of Russia research and chief strategist in Moscow. He was appointed chief strategist at UralSib Financial Corp. in 2007 after a stint with OAO Alfa Bank, the nation’s largest non-state lender.

Brokerages in Russia, including Renaissance Capital and IFC Metropol, have been cutting staff, citing shrinking margins.

ING, the biggest Dutch bank, said in October that it will close its Russian equities unit, while UniCredit SpA said in June that it would shutter its securities operation. Credit Suisse Group AG is moving its Russian capital-markets and advisory units from Moscow to London to cut costs, two people familiar with the matter said in December.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Corcoran in Moscow at jcorcoran13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emma O’Brien at eobrien6@bloomberg.net

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