VTB Capital’s Bostandjiev Exits as Overseas CEO, Hutt Takes Helm

VTB Capital’s Atanas Bostandjiev, who heads international operations at Russia’s biggest investment bank, plans to leave the company.

Chief Financial Officer Nick Hutt replaced Bostandjiev as the unit’s chief executive officer on an interim basis, according to an e-mailed statement today from the company’s Moscow press service. Overseas operations include offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore and Sofia, Bulgaria, according to the firm’s website.

“As of now Nick Hutt is interim CEO for VTB Capital,” according to the statement. “VTB Capital has built a unique international team of world-class professionals and will continue to develop its international franchise and global presence.”

Bostandjiev, a Bulgarian who’s based in London, was traveling and unavailable to comment, according to an assistant, and he didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail.

Bostandjiev was hired by VTB Capital in May 2011 from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., where he was a partner responsible for the firm’s emerging-market client business in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Before that, he held senior sales-management roles at Merrill Lynch & Co. in London.

VTB Capital International has missed its profitability targets for the past five years, Bostandjiev wrote in a Nov. 15 memo to Yuri Soloviev, deputy CEO of parent VTB Group. Bostandjiev proposed shutting the equity derivatives, commodities and structured credit trading groups, cutting the client roster to 300 from about 1,000 and eliminating 231 of 556 jobs, according to the document.

Balkans Investment

VTB Group CEO Andrey Kostin, 57, encouraged by the Kremlin to expand into investment banking overseas before the financial crisis, pledged to spend $500 million building the division. The unit planned to invest “several hundred million euros” in the Balkans, Bostandjiev said in a 2012 interview.

Investment banks in Moscow, led by VTB Capital, Sberbank CIB and JPMorgan Chase & Co., have seen a 69 percent drop in fees this year through May 18, according to data from Freeman & Co., a New York-based consulting firm. VTB Capital, the biggest organizer of Russian equity and debt deals over the past three years, earned $101 million in fees in 2013, the most of any bank in Russia, the data show.

The Russian debt and equity markets have been largely closed since Russia annexed Crimea in March, sparking sanctions by the U.S. and European Union against companies and individuals close to President Vladimir Putin.

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