Investment in Russia & CIS – Cass Business School and Kingston University
Last week, I visited two highly regarded universities to speak to students about investment in Russia & CIS, and the state of the private equity industry in those markets.
In London, I spoke at Cass Business School, to a very engaged audience from the school’s Investment Management & Private Equity Society.
My fellow panellists and I shared our professional insights on the current state of the investment landscape in Russia. It was agreed that, regardless of what the media headlines say about the market, there are always investment opportunities on the ground. We should not forget that Russia has been among the best performing PE markets for over 10 years, by far outperforming average European and Emerging Markets PE returns.
Later in the week, in Moscow, I discussed the role of direct investment in the Russian PE market with MBA students. They are part of a Kingston University MBA and EMBA programme which has been operating in Russia since 1998, and is considered the highest ranked management degree in the country.
More than 100 undergraduate and graduate students joined in a discussion on the prospects of direct investment in Russia.
I talked about the investment climate that is necessary for the development of a successful private equity industry, citing Israel as an example of success, what a private equity fund can offer to entrepreneurs, and the responsibilities that investors face in a growing business.
As part of the session, I also chaired a debate on the concept of direct investment, in which everyone participated. For this, we were joined by special guest Michael Johnston, CEO at Regional Hotel Chain (RHC), who demonstrated the importance of being flexible when partnering with a private equity investor throughout the various stages of a company’s development.