Friday, 19 June 2009

Aton plucks Russian strategy head from JP Morgan

Financial News

Jason Corcoran in Moscow
09 June 2009

Peter Westin, head of Russian strategy at JP Morgan, has left the bank and is believed to be rejoining Aton Capital, the Moscow-based group that has been hiring aggressively in its bid to relaunch as a full-service investment bank.

Westin, one of the best-regarded analysts in Moscow, had previously worked with Aton, which is relaunching after the original business was sold to Italy’s Unicredit in July 2007 for $424m (€306.5m).

A source at JP Morgan confirmed Westin had left the company and said his role was being covered temporarily by its Russian head of research Alex Kantarovich.

Swedish national Westin was part of a group of 20 bankers poached by JP Morgan from Russia’s MDM Bank almost two years ago.

Westin had previously worked for Aton, joining in 2001 as a senior economist. He had worked as chief analyst at the Stockholm Institute for Transition Economics, where he was responsible for monitoring macroeconomic developments in Russia.

Aton, which is hiring up to 50 staff for its equity brokerage, declined to comment although two sources close to the company indicated Westin had joined its new business.

A growing recovery in Russia’s capital markets is leading to a renewal in hiring with VTB Capital leading the way. Financial News revealed yesterday that VTB had hired a team of sales and traders from rival Troika.

Separately, Russian bank UralSib said it had hired Gareth Johnson as head of trading from Alfa Capital.

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