Central regions | Finance, business

With new Da Vinci investment, Russian online broker ready to take IT platform globally

13 Feb '14
Da Vinci Private Equity Fund II, a Russian investment fund focused on financial infrastructure in Russia and the former Soviet Union, has acquired a 63% stake in ITinvest, a major Russian online broker established in 2000, East-West Digital News, the first all English-language online resource dedicated to Russian digital industries, reported earlier this week.

The amount of the transaction has not been disclosed, but Vladimir Kochetkov, the president of Finam, a sizable Russian financial company, has estimated it at around $30-50m, the Russian business daily Vedomosti reported.

The brokers existing shareholders which own the remaining 37% include Russian Funds Investment Group, a 15-year-old Russian multisector financial holding with a focus on M&A and asset management, which bought into ITinvest in 2007, as well as ITinvests management team.

A part of the transaction amount will go to developing the company, which aims to upgrade its online brokerage platform to a newly sophisticated level and offering direct access to the Chicago Stock Exchange (CHX) as well as a number of other services.

New products will be simple, technology-intensive and inexpensive, and will help clients gain expertise in working with the ITinvest platform, leveraging innovation, speed and other technological advantages of the company, said Oleg Zhelezko, managing partner at Da Vinci Capital, commenting on their shared strategy with ITinvest.

Based in Moscow and St. Petersburg, ITinvest has one of the best IT solutions for clients, according to Finams Kochetkov. Included are a proprietary MatriX trading system, SmartX next-gen trading terminal and other software products that serve an estimated 8,000 retailers and institutional customers.

Da Vinci is a fairly young investor. Just last month it completed its first round of funding, having raised 50% of its target $200m capital, including an initial $30m from the EBRD in 2013. The Fund invests in Russian, Kazakh and other companies of the region in the fields of financial infrastructure and payment processing, targeting yearly returns of over 30%.
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