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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Top Moscow Brokerage to Close

Leading Moscow brokerage Regent European Securities has been shut down as part of a restructuring at parent company Regent Pacific Group.

Regent Pacific Group is splitting its operations into two units - Regent Europe and Interman, which will concentrate on IT stocks and Asian activities - and has decided to strengthen its focus on the markets where it has a firmer presence, a Regent Pacific Group spokesman said Tuesday by telephone from London.

Regent, a leading investment house in Europe and Asia, had maintained an active presence in the emerging markets of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the 1990s.

But after the 1997 Asian financial crisis sent world stock markets reeling, the company pulled out of Ukraine, Romania and Kazakhstan.

"Last week the board of directors of Regent Europe decided to close its brokerage business in the Russian Federation because it does not provide the same return on capital that it receives for other businesses in Eastern Europe, although I must say for the first quarter of this year it was profitable," said Maxim Markov, general director of Regent European Securities.

"It is not in our plan to sell the brokerage business in Russia, although we are still considering different ways of closing our business," he said.

Markov said the brokerage would meet all of its obligations on outstanding trades through Friday, its last day of operations.

Among the team let go at Regent European Securities was much-praised stock tracker Nancy Herring, who served as director of research.

Herring created ripples in the investment community in 1997 and 1998 as head of the Lexington Troika Dialog Russia Fund at Troika Dialog Asset Management investment house.

She won kudos for building the Lexington Troika Dialog Russia Fund into the best-performing international mutual fund with an impressive 67.4 percent growth in 1997. But then she startled investors by abruptly leaving Troika in early 1998 over a contractual dispute and concerns about conflicts of interest among the fund's team.

Herring said Tuesday that she had enjoyed working four years in Russia and was now considering moving to Europe.

"In addition to doing Russian portfolio management, I was for years doing U.S. growth investing," she said. "Growth is my background and that is what I am looking to do next. My intention is to work in Europe or perhaps even Eastern European markets doing growth investing."

Regent European Securities opened in Moscow on Dec. 12, 1995, and was ranked in about 50th place in turnover on the main over-the-counter Russian Trading System until last year.

In March 2000, RTS rated it as the 12th largest investment house in terms of turnover.

Regent European Securities employed 20 to 30 people at the time of its closure.