Verno Investment Management has been launched as a specialist fund manager in the capital markets of Russia and the former Soviet Union.
The founder, Dimitri Kryukov, is an experienced investment manager and trader in the Russian market.
Kryukov, who will be chief investment officer of the new company, is joined by his former colleagues at Kazimir Partners: Karen Clarke, partner and chief executive, 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 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.
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 launched on 15 January 2010, has been seeded by the partners with an initial USD15m. It 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.
Kryukov says: “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 under-perform. Verno’s research process identifies the key sector themes in the market, both from a top-down perspective and bottom-up fundamental stock picking.”