Kiwi millionaire sells stake in Russian bank

By Ben Chapman-Smith

Kiwi rich-lister Stephen Jennings. Photo / Supplied
Kiwi rich-lister Stephen Jennings. Photo / Supplied

One of New Zealand's wealthiest men is selling his share in the Moscow-based investment bank he founded nearly 20 years ago.

NBR rich-lister Stephen Jennings, estimated to be worth $900 million, has announced he will be giving up his stake in Renaissance Capital and stepping down as chief executive.

His Russian billionaire partner Mikhail Prokhorovm, who bought a 50 per cent share in RenCap through the Onexim Group in 2008, will now buy the remaining half.

Renaissance said on its website that Onexim would be buying Renaissance for an undisclosed amount.

Jennings will remain head of parent company Renaissance Group, with his focus shifting to building the group's businesses in Africa.

Jennings moved to Moscow as a 32-year old in 1992, working for Credit Suisse as an investment banker.

He and Russian-American businessman Boris Jordan launched RenCap three years later in the wake of the Soviet Union collapse.

Reuters news agency said Jennings made his name and fortune "as a risk taker and dealmaker who rebuilt twice after market crashes".

Renaissance suffered a big hit in 1998 and then 2008, when half the company was sold to Prokhorov for $500 million.

Jennings made headlines in August after allegedly refusing to cut down trees on his Taranaki property, which a neighbour said were blocking his view of the sea.

He was at one point the richest kiwi in the world, estimated by Forbes magazine to be worth $5.2 billion.

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