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Russian hedge fund manager launches Verno Investment Management

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Opalesque Industry Update - Verno Investment Management - founded by one of the leading and most experienced teams in the capital markets of Russia and the Former Soviet Union

Verno Investment Management Limited (Verno) announces its formation as a specialist fund manager in the capital markets of Russia and the Former Soviet Union. The founder, Dimitri Kryukov, is one of the most widely respected and experienced investment managers and traders in the Russian market having been involved since their inception in 1992.

Dimitri, who will be CIO of the new company, is joined by his former colleagues at Kazimir Partners, Karen Clarke, Partner and CEO, Michelle Alifanz Carson, Partner and Head of Business Development and Investor Relations and Bruce Bower, who will join the firm in August as Partner Portfolio Management. The Partners have also been joined by a team of their former research colleagues, Anton Terentiev, as Director of research, Sergey Belyaev Deputy portfolio manager and Nataliya Nenarokomova as Senior research analyst.

Brought together by their shared belief in the outstanding investment opportunities in Russia and the former Soviet Union, the team believes that there is a gap in the market for investment vehicles through which investors can access the upside potential, while at the same time reducing their exposure to the volatility of the markets. This, combined with complete transparency and alignment of interests with management in the investment process and administration of their investment, produces a compelling market opportunity. These opportunities will be marketed to both institutions and the private wealth market in EMEA and the US.

The first fund, the Verno Russia Fund Limited (launched 15 January 2010), has been seeded by the Partners with an initial $15 million. The Fund aims to generate superior long-term compound returns outperforming the RTS index by employing an investment process based upon high-conviction investments and expert knowledge of the Russian market. The new company has offices in Moscow Switzerland and the US.

Commenting on today’s announcement Dimitri Kryukov, Senior Partner and CIO, said, “Investing in Russia has always required a combination of fortitude and expert local knowledge and our new fund has been designed to capture the upside in Russia whilst protecting against large draw-downs. Success requires a full understanding of the dynamics of the whole market, as economic expansion does not always translate into the total return of an investment vehicle or individual share. The key to superior returns is rigorous bottom-up research to identify stocks that will outperform and others that will underperform. Verno’s research process identifies the key sector themes in the market, both from a top-down perspective and bottom-up fundamental stock picking.”

CEO Karen Clarke added: “With a rebounding economy, resurgent commodity prices and a strengthening currency, foreign investors are seeing Russia as an attractive proposition. Compared to other emerging and developed economies it has the least debt as a percentage of GDP and is not vulnerable to the kind of forced deleveraging suffered by other economies. Verno will have the benefit of detailed on the ground research which is essential before investing. We will be identifying attractive growth opportunities with a focus on capital preservation. A key part of our investment process will be the control of volatility, mitigating risk and always aligning our interests with those of our clients.”



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