Friday, 17 August 2007

Top Alfa analyst leaves for Russian rival

Financial News

Jason Corcoran in Moscow and Harry Wilson
15 Aug 2007

One of Moscow's top strategists is set to quit his position to join a rival Russian investment bank in the latest high-profile move in the country's competitive job market.

Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Alfa Bank, one of Russia’s largest independent financial groups, will join Moscow-based rival Uralsib as a senior equity strategist, according to sources close to Uralsib.

Alfa Bank denied Weafer had plans to leave the firm. Weafer was unavailable for comment.

Weafer is one of the best regarded analysts in Russia and one of the top-ranked strategists in the market, frequently being voted among the best researchers in Institutional Investor surveys. He previously headed the led the research department of Troika Dialog, another Russian investment bank.

His departure comes months after Alfa Bank hired Edward Kaufman, the head of UBS’s Russian operation, to head its investment banking business, in a deal worth a reputed $10m a year.

The hiring market in Moscow has become fiercely competitive in the last 18 months and top analysts have been in demand.

In June, JP Morgan hired a team of analysts from Russian bank MDM Bank, while earlier in the year the heads of research at Deutsche Bank and UBS in the country quit.

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