Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Swiss manager G2 snaps up weakened Russian rivals

Financial News

Jason Corcoran in Moscow
24 March 2009

Swiss family office G2 Group has taken large equity stakes in two rival Russian investment firms which were forced to restructure following the equity market’s collapse and client withdrawals.

G2, which manages $1bn (€735m) in alternative assets, has become a shareholder and partner in Da Vinci Capital and Diamond Age Capital Advisors, two firms whose offices face one another across Moscow’s Moskva river.

Russian hedge funds are attempting to restructure and restart with new investors as the economy stabilises. Russia’s Micex index hit a 18-week high on Friday, rising above 800 points as energy and metal stocks were boosted by strong global commodity prices.

Oleg Jelezko, managing partner and chief executive of Da Vinci Capital, said: “G2 offers investment as well as partnership. We have put our hedge fund on their platform and they have hired some great people for us. They have also extended their investment from the holding company to our private equity operation.”

Da Vinci, which had $250m of assets under management in mid-2008, was set up in 2007 by former Renaissance Capital executives as a joint venture with international fund group BSG.

G2, which replaces BSG as a partner, is investing $10m (€7.4m) into Da Vinci’s hedge fund and $10m into its private equity fund, which has a fundraising target of $300m.

The Swiss group, which is headed by financier Gualtiero Giori, also recently became a partner and equity investor in hedge fund business Diamond Age Capital Advisors.

Slava Rabinovich, managing partner of Diamond Age, told investors that current valuations represent a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. Rabinovich, former deputy portfolio manager to Bill Browder at Hermitage Capital, set up the firm in 2005.

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