An old American banker once secretly awarded a shareholding in powerful Moscow funding bank Renaissance Capital to one of Vladimir Putin’s friends and brokered meetings for the friend with the prime U.S. foreign policy a year ago.
The American banker, Robert Foresman, vice chairman at UBS investment bank in New York, held a collection of prominent roles in Moscow’s financial world. He headed Dresdner Financial institution’s funding banking activities in Russia in the early 2000s, provided as Renaissance Capital’s V.C from 2006 to 2009, after which led Barclays Capital’s Russia operation until 2016. Putin’s friend, Matthias Warnig, sits on the boards of several Russian state-controlled companies.
A profoundly religious conservative, the blue-eyed, curly-haired U.S. banker, has stated it has been his calling to be a mediator between the two nuclear superpowers.
A treasure of Renaissance Capital emails from 2007 to 2011 reveals new details about the close relation Foresman cultivated within Putin’s circle over time and how he leveraged these ties to win offers. The emails, which had been reviewed by Reuters, also shine a light on the half played by Western bankers in the days of Moscow’s 2007 economic growth, when the Kremlin was moving to take over ever more massive swathes of the Russian financial system.
His emails had been exchanged among Renaissance Capital’s prime executives and between the financial institution and its customers and business associates before ownership of the bank modified arms in 2012. They have figured in a long-running legal war over the controversial takeover by the Russian state of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Yukos oil firm within the mid-2000s, and are reported here for the first time.
Foresman’s relationship with the Kremlin was extra complicated – and more mercantile – than that of a peacemaker, these emails show. They provide insight into how Foresman and his friends desired to help the Kremlin manage, and profit from, it is the unmaking of Yukos at a time when analysts say Moscow was seeking international legitimacy for the politically-charged process. Besides, they show how the American banker guided Warning around Washington foreign policy circles during the Bush and Obama administrations.
Foresman stated he considered it inappropriate to comment on issues that might relate to moving forward before the English court – a note to a civil lawsuit within the U.K. – however, he refuted any suggestion of wrongdoing. Renaissance Capital’s new management declined to comment.