Alexis Rodzianko, one of Chemical Banking Corp.'s veteran emerging market specialists, is moving to Moscow to help run a new Russian investment bank.

He is the first senior executive to leave the bank in the wake of announcement that it would merge with Chase Manhattan Corp.

Mr. Rodzianko, who spent 14 years first with Manufacturers Hanover Corp. and Chemical, which absorbed it, will take over as chief executive of United City Bank on Sept. 19. He had been Chemical's managing director for emerging markets.

In a phone interview last week, Mr. Rodzianko, 44, said he had been contemplating an offer to join the Russian bank for some time but the merger announcement spurred his decision.

Chemical and Chase are both active in emerging-market debt trading and corporate finance. Market sources said they expect more departures and cutbacks as the two banks combine their separate units, but none would speculate about who might be named overall head of operations.

The American-born Mr. Rodzianko acknowledged that he is stepping into risky waters by joining a bank in Moscow, but he added: "It's a little easier to take risk when two banks are merging and nobody's safe."

Mr. Rodzianko said he turned down a recent offer from Chemical to run the bank's Eastern European market operations. "I felt emerging markets would always be a marginal, or fringe activity, particularly Eastern Europe," he said.

The Russian investment bank is a joint venture of the Russian oil company Sintez and MC Securities, a London-based brokerage firm.

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