RenCap extends its winning streak to a ninth year.

Roland Nash & team Renaissance

second team Evgeny Gavrilenkov, Paolo Zaniboni & team Troika

third team (tie) Yaroslav Lissovolik & team Deutsche; Alexei Morozov, Dmitry Vinogradov & team UBS

RenCap extends its winning streak to a ninth year. Roland Nash, 37, directs the 25-person troupe from offices in Moscow; he also leads the top-ranked teams in Equity Strategy and Ukraine. “They’ve developed a reputation for being there even when times were rough,” observes one backer. Times were certainly tough for Russian equities in late 2008 and early 2009, but the RenCap analysts told clients that “risk appetite would return to emerging markets.” In December 2008 they urged investors to buy the GDRs of Evraz Group, at $10.90, arguing that the steelmaker’s shares had been oversold. The receipts skyrocketed to $33.20 through January 2010, a spectacular 204.6 percent gain that bested Russia’s broad market by 137.6 points.

Troika repeats in second place. The 27-member squadron co-captained by Evgeny Gavrilenkov and Paolo Zaniboni has “a better understanding of what’s going on locally” than do other researchers, according to one fund manager. The Moscow-based analysts elevated Vozrozhdenie Bank to top pick last March, at $5.10, citing the firm’s strong financial footing. Vozrozhdenie’s shares shot up an astonishing 694.1 percent, to $40.50, through January. Moscow-based teams at Deutsche and UBS rise from runner-up to share third-place honors.

Yaroslav Lissovolik oversees the former’s 12-strong team, whose winning calls include an overweight on food retailer Magnit in February 2009 as a defensive play amid the economic downturn; by the end of January 2010, the stock had gobbled up gains of 300 percent and beat the broad market by a mouth-watering 200 points. Alexei Morozov and Dmitry Vinogradov lead the 11-person UBS squad. The analysts upgraded Sberbank from neutral to buy in June, on improving margins. By late January the stock had surged 105.6 percent.

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