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More ways to live whilst you are young


Previously I wrote a post in which I imagined offering advice to my 22-year-old self. To my surprise, but fittingly given the post’s observation that time flies, I now realise that this was over two years ago!

I feel that it is time for an update, especially now that summer has come and gone and we are in the closing days of October, a month that – in the UK at least – traditionally marks the beginning of the new academic year, when university campuses are bustling with new students, ready to embark upon the next exciting chapter of their lives.

My three suggestions from 2014 still stand. Indeed, if anything, global developments since I wrote the earlier piece have reinforced the importance to today’s young adults of a career-oriented education, diverse language skills and a willingness to try one’s hand at anything. Global shifts, including the rise of China and the continuing sense of economic and political crisis in Europe and the US (now arguably worse than it was even two years ago), mean that flexibility, an inquisitive mind and an insatiable appetite for learning remain the paramount qualities of the day. Read more

The challenges of Universal Basic Income

There is little doubt amongst most of today’s political elite that the welfare state we see in some social democratic countries needs to be reinvigorated. One idea, in particular, has featured prominently in the media recently, and has been put forward as an answer to this problem: universal basic income (UBI). However, while UBI receives a marginal level of support, many economists, both from academia and industry, oppose the concept. I also do not believe that it would be an appropriate or successful solution to the issues which its supporters claim it challenges. I wish to suggest that the lessons of Russia’s Soviet past in particular indicate that it would be unwise to introduce UBI into any developed Western society. Read more

LBS move to state of the art new location

The debate around the practical value of an MBA is not likely to finish anytime soon. However, for leading Business schools today, a full time MBA is only one aspect of a successful business model. With continuous education rapidly becoming the norm for leaders in private, public and charitable sectors, leading business schools need to Read more

BREXIT – a battle of hearts and minds?

My interest in Brexit

Soon, Britons will be called on to vote on a question that, one way or another, could set the direction for the country’s economic, social and political future.  It is no surprise, therefore, that the question is one that is arousing a lot of fiery and emotional debate in the media and other public forums.  And as if the issue were not emotive enough as it is, Putin has recently been brought into it, with speculation about the possible role of Russia in stirring up discord and encouraging support for Brexit.

I will give my views on both of these issues.  But for now, just to say Read more

A Perilous Precedent

‘A precedent embalms a principle’ – Benjamin Disraeli

In the coming week, my native city of St Petersburg will host an international economic forum, the main purpose of which will be the promotion of Russia as an attractive prospect for outside investment.

SPIEF will be held in the new convention centre ‘Expoforum’ whilst this year’s delegates will be feverishly looking to get reservations at the top hotels. GHE, Four Seasons and W are hosting some of the most important sessions. Once again, the most prominent venue will be the Four Seasons Lions Palace hotel, located in the renovated palace of Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky. Next week this extraordinary hotel will be the essential focal point for some of most recognized Forbes and Fortune faces of the forum.

When Lion Palace opened it was a Read more

Magnets for Growth

“False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often long endure; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, as every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened.”

Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (1871)

Crony capitalism is the subject of considerable and often misguided debate. It is an economic system where those who are inappropriately close to government officials are given unfair advantages, commonly in the form of financial incentives. As a person with a regulated European fund and yet on the receiving end of baseless allegations of crony capitalism, this is a topic I follow closely.

I am a frequent reader of The Economist, a publication which prides itself on its quality of research, but  I was very surprised by an article that I recently read which featured an updated ‘crony capitalism index’.  Read more

The Power of Alumni Networks – Building Bridges Between the University, Its Graduates, and the World

Those of us who have graduated from some of the Western world’s most prestigious universities will no doubt be intimately acquainted with the concept of the alumni association. Fundamentally driven by the goodwill and voluntary support of graduates, an alumni association can be instrumental in supporting the university’s long-term strategic ambitions. It should be a sprawling, multigenerational, international family Read more