9th April 2015
Recently, PwC, IBLF Russia and the Independent Directors Association (IDA) jointly hosted the 7th Russian Boards Forum, titled “Never let a good crisis go to waste”. The event took place on 9 April at the Moscow State Picture Gallery of Ilya Glazunov.
As in previous years, the Forum brought together members of the boards of directors of Russia’s leading companies. Particularly in these complicated times, it’s critical that corporate board members have such a space for discussing the country’s current economic prospects as well as the role boards play in developing business and in setting their companies’ strategic compass amid the stormy waters of ongoing economic turbulence.
The Forum programme opened with welcoming remarks by Sergey Shvetsov, member of the Bank of Russia Board of Directors. He was followed by several distinguished speakers, including Bikas Joshi, Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Mission in Russia, who focused his talk on the specific risks and threats that Russian business faces today.
Also among the featured speakers was David Gray, Chairman of PwC Russia, who presented the results of PwC’s Russian Boards Survey for 2015, which the firm conducted prior to the Forum so that directors could assess the significance of the threats and opportunities that their companies are currently facing, as well as how their companies can best adapt and prosper amid the shifting sands of economic volatility.
After the formal presentations, the attendees enjoyed a lively discussion of the impact that such critical factors as ruble devaluation, sanctions, the falling oil price, greater competition and constricted access to capital are having on individual businesses and entire industries today. Guided by Moderator Sergei Belyakov, Chairman of the Board of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum Foundation, participants discussed the role that corporate boards can play in the uncharted waters of atypical economic circumstances, as well as changes in companies’ development strategies, and the role of the government in helping the business sector to overcome and weather the crisis. Among those taking an active part in the discussion were: Boris Kim, Chairman of the Board of Directors, QIWI Group; Vitaliy Podolskiy, Non-Executive Director, Chairman of the Personnel and Remuneration Committee, Cherkizovo Group; Bernard Ducros, CEO, Danone Russia; Vasiliy Sidorov, member of the Russian Railways and Aeroflot boards of directors; and Victoria Semerikova, Head of the Corporate Technologies Department at the Federal Agency for State Property Management.