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RenCap's 40 bankers in London want to set up a new boutique

Management at Russia’s Renaissance Capital in London are exploring the possibility of a buyout by new shareholders.

Such a deal would separate the company from Moscow-based Renaissance Capital Group, which is controlled by the billionaire oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov.

The plan is set to up a boutique investment bank for select markets which would potentially operate without a trading platform, according to filings made to UK Companies House on October 20.

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If the mooted buyout is not successful, there is a possibility that a decision will be taken to begin to wind-down the investment bank, which opened in London in the 1990’s.

RenCap is the only Russian investment bank left standing in London after the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine lead to state-controlled Sberbank CIB and VTB Capital being sanctioned out of business in the UK.

RenCap has not been sanctioned by the UK, the EU or the US, but has suffered from its huge exposure to the Russian market.

The annual report said the conflict in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions had a significant effect on its revenues and had led “to a significant restructure in May 2022 to reduce the company’s costs to a minimum.”

Key London-based executives such as Charlie Robertson, RenCap’s global chief economist, left in the wake of the restructuring.

The latest earning show that RenCap’s UK business swung to a $13.4 million loss last year from a $2.1 million profit in 2021

“Equities and fixed income trading is now at a minimum, and investment banking activity in Russia has paused since the conflict arose,” said RenCap.

In the filings, director Anthony Simone said the bank had recently opened new offices in Mayfair which “puts the company physically closer to many UK clients.”

RenCap is also maintaining its FCA license to carry out "limited fixed income and equity income trading." 

Simone added that the office space provides flexibility for future expansion should the opportunity arise.

RenCap’s average number of employees shrank to 40 at the end of 2022 from 64 for the prior year.

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AUTHORJason Corcoran Insider Comment

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