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VTB Capital said it was retreating from London and investment banking. So why has it made these major new hires?

Bank that said it would downsize in the UK after Brexit makes major new hires from Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan

An emerging markets focused bank, which is considering moving business out of the UK after Brexit, has just poached senior bankers from both Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan in London.

Russian investment bank VTB Capital, has hired Raymond O’Leary, the former head of CMTS, Turkey, Israel and Africa investment banking at Deutsche Bank, as head of origination for Africa.

O’Leary spent the best part of seven years working as an MD within Deutsche’s emerging markets investment banking team. He joined from investment manager Solent Capital Partners in June 2010.

O’Leary is not the only senior recruit at VTB Capital in London this year. Alvaro Baranda Molina, an executive director and head of Iberia strategic equity derivatives at J.P. Morgan, has also just joined the bank as a managing director in international origination and structured equity for EMEA. Molina worked at J.P. Morgan for 11 years.

Not many banks are signing off on big hires in London right now as the UK government gears up to serve Article 50 and start the country’s exit from the EU.

VTB Capital said in October that it was cutting back its London operations. VTB CEO Andrey Kostin told Bloomberg at the time that it was likely to reduce its UK business “for business reasons, not for political reasons”, but suggested that Brexit could impact the size of its London office. VTB was more likely to focus on high margin retail business, he said.

Since then, however, the bank has been keen to reduce speculation that it’s downsizing because of Brexit, with VTB Capital’s CEO, Alexei Yakovitsky, saying that London was “important because there's human capital, there are clients, there are investors and this is really the centre, or one of the global centres, of international finance.”

VTB has been parting ways with senior bankers too. In November, Andrew Cornthwaite, its head of global banking, left and is now running a pub Hereford and Worcester called The Baiting House.

Contact: pclarke@efinancialcareers.com

Photo: Getty Images

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AUTHORPaul Clarke

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