Russia: Florin looks to leverage Russia’s economic strengths
Every cloud has a silver lining. With the international debt markets only now open to a select few Russian corporates, and with many Russian banks strapped for cash, there are plenty off opportunities for asset managers to lend to strong corporate credits at distressed debt-type margins.
That’s the rationale behind the Florin FSU Credit Opportunities Fund, launched in February by Florin Investment Management, which has generated a 10% year-to-date performance. Having started with an initial $100 million of seed capital from joint venture partner Trust Bank, one of the leading private banks in Russia, the fund has already attracted an additional $250 million of capital from a mix of institutional and private clients. Furthermore a number of hedge funds are also expected to invest in the fund to secure co-investment rights.
The team at Florin is led by Neil Smith, formerly head of alternative investments at Morley Fund Management, and Aidan Freyne, an emerging market debt market veteran with more than 25 years’ experience as a managing director at Salomon Brothers, Citi and, most recently, Trust Bank.
Smith says that the fund is designed to offer investors access to low-risk, high-yield returns allied with the best international standards.