Sunday, 17 May 2009

JP Morgan names Russia investment banking chief

Financial News

Jason Corcoran in Moscow
15 May 2009

Jeffrey Costello, chief executive of JP Morgan in Russia, has taken over as head of investment banking in Moscow following the surprise departure of Natalia Tsukanova to take up a role as an adviser to the Kremlin.

JP Morgan said Costello had taken over Tsukanova’s duties temporarily following her departure last month to advise the Russian government on it foreign acquisition plans.

Investment banking sources said Tsukanova had been tapped by Igor Sechin, deputy prime minister and energy giant Rosneft chairman, to advise the government on foreign acquisitions in the oil and gas sector.

“Tsukanova was with JP for 12 years and wanted to try something new. This was an offer she felt she couldn’t refuse,” said a banker close to the situation.

A Moscow spokeswoman for JP Morgan said Costello was taking over until a suitable replacement could be found. It was too early to say whether internal or external candidates will be sought.

Tsukanova’s investment banking team has had a good run over the past few years. Its bankers acted as joint bookrunner on the $10.7bn (€7.9bn) flotation of Rosneft and was one of the two international placement agents for Sberbank’s $8.8bn flotation. It has traded leading M&A adviser status in Russia with Credit Suisse over the past three years.

Russia’s capital markets have quietened down this year compared to the boom in mergers and acquisitions last year. JP Morgan is the second leading adviser for the year to date, having advised on two deals worth $7.5bn. In 2008, JP Morgan advised on eight deals during the entire year worth a total of $18.1bn.

Costello was hired in March last year as JP’s first Moscow chief executive. He spent five years as chief executive of UBS' Moscow-based investment banking joint venture UBS Brunswick until taking time out of the banking industry in 2004.

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