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Banking

Sberbank throws its weight into investment banking

In the words of a recent recruit – it’s the biggest bank you’ve never heard of. If you’re an investment banker in Russia, or even Turkey and Poland, that’s about to change. But can Sberbank, propelled by its acquisition of Troika Dialog, get anywhere close to fulfilling its potential?

Sberbank already dominates Russian corporate banking, with a market share of just over 30% – more than three times its nearest rival, VTB. Now it is throwing its weight into investment banking, starting with the acquisition for an initial $1 billion of local investment bank Troika Dialog. “Sberbank is one of the only growth platforms in European banking,” says a new recruit from a western bulge-bracket firm. Indeed, partly because of falls in eurozone bank share prices, Sberbank is now the third-biggest bank in Europe by market capitalization.

Sberbank’s merger with Troika Dialog was still pending as Euromoney went to press. But the firms have already been working together closely during the second half of 2011 to gather mandates for M&A and capital markets deals. “The best way to sell fees and commission products is through being able to say you can add it to financing,” says Anton Karamzin, CFO at Sberbank.

Karamzin tells Euromoney that the merger comes with new risk-management and incentive structures across the corporate and investment banking division, although he is keen to underline that the latter does not include any guaranteed bonuses.

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