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There have been some comings and going at the London office of Otkritie, the Russian bank said to be at risk of a government bail-in.

Strange staff movements at Otkritie London

Now is probably not the time to join Russian bank Otkritie's London office. The Financial Times claims the Russian government is preparing a rescue package allowing it to intervene if Otkritie suffers a liquidity crisis. Deposit withdrawals mean the bank has lost 20% of its balance sheet in the past two months.

Otkritie's brokerage division, Otkritie Capital International, employs 31 registered people in the UK according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It hasn't been hiring much, but one of its most recent recruits - veteran equity salesman Sean Callahan - didn't stick around.

Callahan, who was formerly head of CEEMEA sales at HSBC and J.P. Morgan and a director on the emerging markets sales team at UBS, joined Otkritie on June 2 according to the FCA. He left again on August 22. Otkritie confirmed his departure.

Callahan isn't the only person to come and go at Otkritie. The FCA Register also shows Richard Walker, a former head of CEEMEA sales and trading at SocGen joining on November 7th 2016 and leaving exactly one month later.

Despite the brief tenure of some of its recent hires, Otkritie also has some long serving staff in London. Head of research Mikhail Terentiev has been with the firm for seven years after joining from Nomura in 2010. Director of equity sales Mlada Yegikyan has been there eight years after joining from Goldman Sachs in 2009.

Otkritie Capital International made profits of $30m in the year to December 2016 according to its most recently filed accounts covering the UK and the Moscow offices. The firm's 207 global employees earned an average of $123k.

In London, Otkritie is notorious for a fraud committed by a former trader in 2011. George Urumov convinced Otkritie to pay he and his team of five $5m each in signing bonuses when they joined from Knight Capital six years ago.  Urumov kept $20m of the $25m for himself and moved the rest into offshore companies he controlled.  He was sentenced to 12 years in prison last January.


Photo credit: Yellowtail Scad by Richard Ling is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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