Thursday, 29 January 2009

Fleming Launches Business In Russia

Dow Jones International News

By Jason Corcoran in Moscow

U.K. investment house Fleming, Family & Partners is launching a fund management business in Russia following its acquisition of DWS Investments in Moscow from Deutsche Bank.

FF&P, which has had operations in Russia since 1992, confirmed it had bought the DWS management company, its legal structure and four unit funds from Deutsche.

Denis Sukhanov, chairman of FF&P in Russia, said the new business targeting private clients and institutions would launch next month or in March. He said: "We think it's a great time to launch considering how equity valuations have bombed in recent months. Asset management is a core business for Flemings in London and Zurich but we have never had it in Russia till now."

The sale of DWS to FF&P by Deutsche marks a turnabout for the German company, which had intended to merge its funds with UFG Invest, an investment boutique in which it acquired a 40% stake in September for $65 million.

A Frankfurt spokeswoman for DWS said it was carrying on its business under the new Deutsche UFG Capital Management brand. She said: "Flemings will not use the DWS brand."

FF&P recently hired Andrei Uspensky to run the fund management business from Pioglobal Asset Management, where he had been chief executive.

Sukhanov said the valuations of the four DWS funds had fallen from $400 million to between $25 million and $35 million following the collapse in equity prices since September.

The UK firm manages the wealth of Roddy Fleming and his family, one of the City's oldest dynasties. It also provides asset management for other wealthy families. As well as providing advice to Russian corporate and personal clients in Moscow, FF&P has real estate funds that invest in the region.

The family previously held a stake in the Russian mining company Highland Gold.

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