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Sberbank, in Drive to Attract Talent, Poaches UBS Manager

Sberbank CIB, the corporate and investment banking unit of state-owned Sberbank, has hired Nicholas Harwood as head of equities for its global markets department as it pursues an aggressive drive to attract top talent.

Harwood, who heads equities for Russia and the CIS at UBS Securities, will start the new position in October and wil be based in Moscow, reporting to Maxim Safonov, head of Sberbank CIB's global markets department, the bank said Wednesday.

In a way, Harwood is rejoining his old team because he spent three years, from 2008 to 2011, working at Troika Dialog, the private Moscow investment bank that was acquired last year by Sberbank, Russia's largest bank in terms of assets. Sberbank CIB was created through the integration of Troika into Sberbank.

"We are delighted to welcome Nick back to the team," Safonov said in an e-mailed statement. "His extensive international equities experience and proven ability to grow a regional franchise is an invaluable addition."

Harwood said he was pleased to be back. "I look forward to working with the team to further develop our equities capability," he said.

Harwood, who graduated from the University of Cape Town with a business degree in 1989 and earned his MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management last fall, has two decades of experience in emerging market equities, based in Moscow, London, New York and Johannesburg.

His appointment is the latest in a series of senior hires at Sberbank CIB this year. The bank's global markets department also has recently added Sascha Prinz as head of rates, Francois Mantion as head of commodity trading, Raymond Bird as head of strategic equity financing, GM trading and Steven Weller as head of FX trading.

Other Russian investment banks also have been snapping up talent. Just Wednesday, state-owned VTB Capital announced the appointment of Jason Fung as head of its Asia financing structuring department.

Fung, who had worked at Credit Suisse since 2006, will be based in Hong Kong and report directly to Peter Firmin, head of international private finance structuring at VTB Capital, and regionally to Damian Chunilal, CEO Asia at VTB Capital.

“This appointment is an important step in VTB Capital’s strategy to expand its business lines and further strengthen the company's position in the Asia-Pacific region,” the bank said in an e-mail statement.

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