Our Team


Management Team

We are very proud of our management team. Not only do they have extensive hands on experience in the investment field, they are also a committed, proven team of top professionals.

Senior management

Gene ZolotarevFounder and main shareholder of the Maximus Group

Prior to founding Maximus Capital S.A. in 2008, Mr. Zolotarev has worked for over 20 years in senior positions in investment banking and asset management.  He has held a number of senior executive and board positions at prominent U.S., Eastern Europe and Baltic commercial and investment banks. Since 1993 he had cultivated personal and business relationships with principals of many major industrial holdings in the Eastern Europe and CEE; many of whom seek his professional and independent advice to this day. 

Since 2009, Gene has been splitting time between Geneva, Monaco and Riga while focusing on developing Maximus Capital S.A. as a multi-family office with deep expertise in identifying special situation investment opportunities – both in liquid markets and private equity.

Having graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Physics, he went on to attend an executive MBA program at NYU and later attended Harvard Kennedy School of International Affairs.


John Howarth
Director, Strategic Partnerships

John Howarth has been involved in high level Wealth Management for over 36 years now, providing a wide range of bespoke investments to (U)HNW clients across the Middle East, Europe and more recently in the Asia Pacific Region. He has vast experience in advising clients from many different cultures, having lived and worked in more than a dozen countries himself during the last 26 years or so. John has 20+ years experience in VC & Private Equity and is now based between Cyprus and Monaco.

Valentina NacinovichDirector, Alternative Investments

Valentina Nacinovich started her career in 2009 in the luxury goods industry, managing the operations of special superyacht and luxury lifestyle projects for UHNWIs, with extensive experience in the European, American and Middle Eastern markets. She currently serves as a Senior Advisor at NPD, providing corporate finance, M&A, Fundraising and Business Development consultancy to enterprises operating in the luxury goods and services space. Ms. Nacinovich is also the Founder of Luxury Vanguard, a company based in Monaco that manages an investment portfolio of special projects.

Rustem Ospanov Technology Advisor

Rustem Ospanov is a physicist and data scientist with over 14 years of active research involvement at CERN. Highly developed analytical and problem-solving skills with hands-on experience in machine learning and computer programming. Proficient in leading global teams for developing durable solutions to diverse technological and research problems.

Sara BentsenSenior Analyst

Sara is a experienced growth strategist, reinforcing connections and relationships with existing investor networks and creating new ones. She has worked and assisted several VC’s and Business Angel networks internationally. Prior to this, Sara worked for the UN in industrial development in the department of external relations.
Ms Bentsen is based in the South of France, speaks four languages and has been a business owner for 3 years.

Sophia Tupolev-LuzMedia and Marketing

Sophia Tupolev-Luz is an international communications strategist with a global track record. She has spent her career helping executives and companies communicate professionally in English. Today, Sophia serves a global portfolio at Swordpen Consulting as the managing director. Previously, she served as the director of communications for ClimaCell, a technology developer in Boston, MA. Prior to that, she was the director of communications for a cybersecurity company in Tel Aviv, an advisor to the editor-in-chief of an international news network in Europe, and a government speech writer in Eurasia.

Investment Comittee

Alexander Rottenburg

Alexander Rottenburg has many years of experience in the banking and financial services sector. Mr. Rottenburg has broad experience of emerging markets, most aspects of investment banking & money markets, and the formulation and implementation of strategy. Currently he serves as a Director of Fraserburgh Consulting Ltd and sits on the Court of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers. Mr. Rottenburg spent much of his career in Emerging Markets at Standard Bank London and West Merchant Bank. Before joining West Merchant Bank, Alexander was a Director of Union Discount Company Ltd responsible for Treasury Capital Markets, Business Strategy Development, Asset Management and Trade Finance. Mr. Rottenburg has been an occasional contributor to various financial publications.

Thomas Turrell

Mr. Turrell has worked for over 20 years in the investment banking, private banking and asset management business with many large international institutional organisations including Merrill Lynch and Lloyds. Having worked as a hedge fund manager, portfolio manager, analyst and sales trader he has gathered a wealth of experience in the field of investment management. He specialises in hedge fund investments and in particular systematic trading strategies.