RenAsset Management CIO Monovski Steps Down After Five Years

Jan 23 2015 | 1:27pm ET

By Jason Corcoran and Jake Rudnitsky (Bloomberg) -- Plamen Monovski is stepping down as chief investment officer of RenAsset Management after five years as two other executives departed the emerging-markets firm.

Monovski will continue to be “part of the investment team focused on specific portfolios,” Frank Mosier, managing partner for Kazimir Partners, which acquired RenAsset two years ago, said in a statement on Friday. London-based Monovski, who joined the firm in 2010 after managing as much as $9 billion at BlackRock Inc., declined to comment by text message.

Emerging-market funds had $23 billion of outflows last year, the most since 2011, according to fund trackers EPFR Global. Investors pulled money from Russia and the former Soviet Union countries amid rising tensions over the Ukraine conflict and plunging crude prices.

Mosier said the firm had discontinued certain “peripheral” investment products that “were unsustainable or produced unacceptable performance.” He said RenAsset, formerly known as Renaissance Asset Managers, is “upgrading staff,” especially in sales and marketing. RenAsset and Kazimir manage a combined $1.2 billion, Mosier said.

‘Entrepreneurial Itch’

Adrian Harris, a former managing director responsible for distribution, and fund manager Simon Fentham-Fletcher quit RenAsset to start Freedom Asset Management, according to a statement Thursday from the Guernsey-registered company.

“It’s no secret that dollar-based Russian funds are struggling,” Fentham-Fletcher said by phone from Helsinki. “Investors are finding it hard not to redeem whatever they have left. Adrian and I are at an age where it’s about time we work for ourselves, and we’ve got an entrepreneurial itch to scratch.”

Freedom has set up a U.S. dollar global allocation fund and is seeking to raise $100 million this year from international private clients, according to the statement.

RenAsset, which had about $3 billion under management in January 2013, according to its website, has funds investing in Russia, Africa and Asia.

Kazimir, a hedge-fund firm focusing on Russia and the former Soviet Union, was founded in 2002 by Mosier and Dmitri Kryukov, both former senior executives at the Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital.

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