Moscow-based Renaissance Capital hires former J.P. Morgan banker

Nick Andrews joins as global head of equities with a particular mandate to expand the firm's business in Asia.

Moscow-based investment bank Renaissance Capital has hired Nick Andrews, formerly with J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse First Boston in Hong Kong, as global head of equities. The role that will make him responsible for the expansion of the firm's equity business in other emerging markets, particularly in Asia.

His remit will include cash equities, derivatives and structured products, but not equity capital markets (ECM).

Renaissance Capital, which focuses on emerging markets and is part of the Renaissance Group, made its Asian "debut" as one of the eight bookrunners on UC Rusal's $2.24 billion Hong Kong IPO in January and, according to a company spokesman, there are a number of other Russian companies looking to follow in the aluminium company's tracks and list in Hong Kong, which should provide more opportunities for Renaissance in the region.

Andrews' job will be to establish a secondary market trading and distribution platform to go hand-in-hand with this bid to bring capital-hungry companies from Russia -- and potentially other former Soviet states like Kazakhstan -- to Asian investors who are looking for growth opportunities. Not surprisingly, its initial focus will be on China, which is a market that most of these companies are aiming to increase trading with.

In a phone interview, Andrews noted that Renaissance is in a good position to break into emerging Asian markets and compete with the more established investment banks partly because of its long-term experience in metals, mining and resources, and partly because it is smaller and more nimble.

"Renaissance can excel because it is very entrepreneurial and can move rapidly into and establish an onshore presence in emerging markets that bulge bracket firms approach more cautiously," he said.

The firm already has a well-established onshore presence in several markets in Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa including Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States, which is comprised of former Soviet states), and is keen to draw on the experience it has accumulated through that expansion as it now looks to Asia. The firm also has market-leading positions in Russia in its core businesses, which are M&A, equity and debt capital markets, securities sales and trading, research, and derivatives.

"Future growth in investment banking will come from the emerging markets, and in particular from the integration of the major emerging markets and gradual disintermediation of the West. The scale of the opportunity for a bank with deep local roots across key emerging markets and world class management and infrastructure is enormous," Stephen Jennings, CEO of Renaissance Group, said in a statement.

Andrews was most recently head of Asia-Pacific and emerging markets equities at J.P. Morgan in Hong Kong, a position he took up in 2005. He left the US investment bank in the middle of last year to spend more time with his family that was still based in the UK, and a job that is based closer to the UK time zone should therefore suit him well, even if it will involve a certain amount of travelling both to Asia and Africa.

For Renaissance, Andrews is an almost ideal candidate given his experience of running equities businesses in 13 Asian markets, of which 11 are emerging markets. He was also responsible for J.P. Morgan's involvement in other emerging markets, such as Latin America, Russia and the Middle East and has direct experience of primary equity markets, which gives him a broad understanding of the needs of an expanding investment bank.

Before his most recent job at J.P. Morgan he was head of Asia ECM for about three years and prior to joining the US investment bank in 2002 he was head of ECM for non-Japan Asia at Credit Suisse First Boston, which has since changed names to Credit Suisse.

And Andrews is not the only hire made by the firm.  

"Renaissance Capital has set itself the strategic goal of becoming the premier full service investment bank in the emerging markets time zone from the Russian Far East to West Africa, building on its market-leading positions in the CIS and Africa. To support those ambitions, we are putting in place a world class management with a track record of managing global scale businesses and an entrepreneurial drive to build businesses," said Jennings.

Also on Friday, the firm announced it has brought on board Ashar Qureshi, a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, as executive vice chairman of Renaissance Group, responsible for international client development. He will also participate in key transactions, assist in the development of the firm's strategy and policies and oversee risk, the transaction management group, and legal and compliance.

Mark Harris, who was previously with Lehman Brothers, most recently as managing director and head of compliance for Europe and the Middle East, joins as global head of compliance.  And Michael Schulz has been appointed global head of risk, having most recently ran the risk function at the Hong Kong hedge fund CQS.

Those interested in learning more about Russia as an investment destination may be interested in our upcoming  Russia - Capital Raising and Investing Summit - Hong Kong  on April 12 - 14, 2010.


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