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Ex-Goldman executive to lead Russia’s $10bn fund

Former Goldman Sachs banker and ex-Delta co-managing partner Kirill Dmitriev will helm the country’s $10bn private equity fund.

Kirill Dmitriev, president of CIS-focused buyout firm Icon Private Equity, will lead a $10 billion Russian state-backed fund, the Russian government said in a statement.

The fund will invest directly in Russian businesses, and will be formally launched in St Petersburg in June during the International Economic Forum that is being held there. No firm has yet made a formal commitment to the fund, according to press reports. Within five years, Russia hopes the fund will have attracted between $60 billion and $90 billion in foreign investment, reports said. 

Dmitriev was introduced to representatives from Goldman Sachs, Blackstone Group, Permira, Kuwait Investment Authority, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and other figures from the international investment community at a meeting in Moscow Wednesday.

Kirill Dmitriev

Prime Minister Putin told the representatives: “The Russian government and our development institutions, including the newly established Direct Investment Fund, are willing to establish constructive relations with investors.”

Before founding Icon, Dmitriev was co-managing partner at Russian private equity firm Delta Private Equity Partners. From 2005 to 2006, he was chairman of the Russian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. Earlier in his career, he was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs in New York and a consultant with McKinsey & Company in Los Angeles, Moscow and Prague.

Putin is head of the supervisory board at state development bank Vnesheconombank, which is in charge of setting up the fund. The fund is targeting $10 billion in commitments, $2 billion of which will be provided by the Russian state to seed the vehicle and reassure foreign institutional investors that it will be immune to the perceived risks of corruption and bureaucracy, commonly cited in surveys as barriers to entry in the Russian market.