Monday, 24 March 2008

Russian bank hires former SEC chairman

Financial News

March 24, 2008

Jason Corcoran in Moscow

Russian banking group Renaissance Capital had hired former chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission William Donaldson as a senior adviser.

Donaldson, who stepped down from the SEC in July 2005, has been brought on board to build links between the investment bank and Wall Street.

The former co-founder, chairman and chief executive of US investment banking firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, served just over two years following his appointment by his friend President George Bush in April 2003.

Donaldson, the 27th chairman at the SEC, retired after
drawing sharp criticism over the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, which is designed to increase corporate accountability, and his zealous approach to regulation.

He presided over investigations into mutual fund trading abuses, hedge funds and equity research. Under his leadership, the SEC, frequently working with other state and federal regulators, drew billions of dollars in fines and restitution from firms found guilty of fraud or wrongdoing.

Donaldson, who also served as chairman and chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange, was appointed as advisory council chairman of boutique Perella Weinberg last year.

At Renaissance’s investor conference in Kiev last year, Donaldson spoke on the same platform as the bank’s founder Stephen Jennings.

The pair have known one another since DLJ partnered with Renaissance to bring Russian telecommunications firm Vimpelcom to the New York Stock Exchange in 1997.

In the same year, DLJ announced it would open an office in Moscow just prior to the Russia’s financial crash.

DLJ was one of a roster of Western banks that lost $40 billion when the Russian government defaulted.

On a trip to Moscow a decade ago, Donaldson said the biggest barriers for Russian companies listing overseas were the conversion to Western-style accounting and corporate governance.

Leading Russian search engine Yandex plans to float shares on New York’s Nasdaq this Autumn and Renaissance is one of the three banks who have been hired to organise the offering.

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