Friday, 21 December 2007

RenCap to double staff in Africa and Asia

Financial News

Jason Corcoran in Moscow
21 Dec 2007



Emerging markets investment bank Renaissance Capital aims to double the headcount in its African and central Asian operations next year to 260 bankers.

Renaissance, which set up shop in Africa earlier last year, is recruiting an additional 100 bankers for its sub-Saharan hub in Nigeria's Lagos and its offices in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

The bank is also establishing a full service investment bank in Kazakhstan's financial capital Almaty as a launchpad into other central Asian markets such as Uzbekistan. Staffing in Almaty will be doubled to 60.

Karl Franzmann, global head of recruitment at Renaissance, said the bank required investment bankers, equity research analysts and sales and traders for its new markets.

He said: "We are going to look at how the downturn will affect the bulge bracket banks. They have made commitments before to emerging markets and then pulled out. There are a lot of experienced expatriates working in New York and London and they might be looking at their options to return home in a few months time."

Renaissance will run a global advertising campaign next week in the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.

Franzmann said the bank's main Russian business would grow by 25% next year. "In Russia the growth will be spread across investment banking, sales and trading, derivatives and research."

Peter Vanhecke, recently hired from Dresdner Kleinwort has been appointed to head up Renaissance's bank in Ukraine.

Renaissance is also opening another sales and distribution hub in either Singapore or Hong and expanding its New York office.

A London-based headhunter said some bulge-bracket banks like Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank had already ring-fenced their emerging market operations to protect them in the event of job losses due to the US sub-prime crisis.

He said: "Emerging market operations are usually where heads start rolling first. Banks that haven't suffered from the credit crunch can leverage the relative weakness of other banks to build their platforms."

Senior Moscow bankers suggested Lehman Brothers might be most vulnerable in Moscow to cuts. "They have struggled to gain scale and Dick Fuld isn't very keen on Russia anyway," said one.

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