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Valartis Chooses VTB Unit to Run $1 Billion Russia Fund

Valartis Group AG, which traces its roots to Vienna in 1890, selected VTB Capital Investment Management as sub-adviser for its $1 billion Russian fund.

As part of the agreement, Valartis senior portfolio manager Tim McCarthy and a team of analysts will move to the VTB unit, part of Russia’s second-largest lender, according to a statement to clients on its website.

“VTB will become sub-adviser to Valartis International Ltd., the current investment adviser to the fund, thus keeping the same investment team together,” Andre Heusser, head of business development at Valartis, said in the statement.

Valartis Chief Executive Officer Gustav Stenbolt said earlier this year the Swiss private bank will target wealthy clients in eastern Europe and Russia as it seeks a buyer. The Baar, Switzerland-based firm wants to sell after “dissatisfactory growth” and because it won’t reach “critical size” as it focuses on profitability, the company said in an Aug. 27 statement.

McCarthy will remain based in Switzerland and travel more often to Russia, according to the statement. The fund’s structure, custodian and administrator will remain the same, the company said. Valartis and VTB intend to transition the fund’s management “over time” to VTB pending regulatory, board and shareholder approvals, according to the statement.

McCarthy was hired by VTB to develop new products for international investors and move the firm into foreign markets, said Vladimir Potapov, CEO of the group’s fund unit. The fund manager is seeking to expand its distribution team in 2014 to London, Dubai, Hong Kong and New York, he said.

McCarthy and Potapov previously worked together at Troika Dialog, the investment group acquired by OAO Sberbank. McCarthy, based in Geneva, lived in Russia for 12 years and co-founded Red Star Asset Management.

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