Digital Economy and Innovation Discussed by New Members of Vnesheconombank’s Expert Council
The first meeting of Vnesheconombank’s reshuffled Expert Council has been hosted by the Vnesheconombank blockchain commune. The meeting was attended by Andrey Sharonov, Chairman of the Expert Council and President of the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management; Sergey Gorkov, Chairman of Vnesheconombank; Dmitry Belousov, Head of Macroeconomic Analysis and Forecasting of the Centre for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-Term Forecasting; Alexander Zhukov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; Kirill Varlamov, Director of the Internet Initiatives Development Fund; Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of National University of Science and Technology MISiS; and others.
“We view ourselves as a provider of support for Vnesheconombank in strategic matters. Without interfering in day-to-day operations, we will be looking at the priorities of this major development institution in Russia,” Andrey Sharonov said.
The digital economy and innovation were the main focus of attention at the meeting. Vnesheconombank’s Chairman Sergey Gorkov noted that the Bank would be able to present the quantum platform project at the next meeting of the Expert Council.
“When (please note I did not say ‘if’) a quantum computer is created, the world will be completely different. I guess that we will see completely different products and completely different computers, both in content and in form. For example, I have already seen computers that look like a flask. And it is obvious that quantum computers will help us to solve problems that cannot be solved now,” he said.
The General Director of VEB Innovations told the Expert Council about measures to support exit-stage innovation projects in Russia.
Progress Microelectronic Research Institute presented an infrastructure for creating a single platform for commodity flow traceability. The successful implementation of a similar project in Belarus was of interest to the Expert Council. The commodity flow identification system is one of the applications of the digital economy. According to experts, this platform can provide a high level of national security and actual import substitution, contributing to technological development, new highly qualified jobs and improved quality of life.
In October 2017, the Management Board of Vnesheconombank approved new members of the Expert Council for 2017/18 to be chaired by Andrey Sharonov, President of the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management. The change in its operation mode and members will enable the Expert Council to improve the examination of the Bank’s decisions and Vnesheconombank’s contribution to Russia’s socio-economic development. The new members of the Expert Council include representatives of research and educational institutions, development institutions, public authorities and major companies. The total number of members of the Expert Council is 23.
The Expert Council of Vnesheconombank was founded in 2008 to provide an in-depth scientific analysis of the current status, trends and priorities of global and domestic socio-economic development. The Expert Council also prepares recommendations for the Bank’s management about Vnesheconombank’s investment decisions. The Expert Council is traditionally composed of the country’s distinguished scientists and leading experts.
To improve the workflow with customers, VEB has introduced the Customer Electronic Office. The bank’s customers now will be able to submit documents electronically using enhanced encrypted and certified digital signature.
“This is an important step both for the bank and VEB Group in general. The new system will save customers’ time allowing them to submit filings online and will significantly reduce the circulation of printed documents. This is of particular importance for investment business where time is the most valuable of all commodities,” pointed out Dmitry Kurdyukov, Vnesheconombank’s First Deputy Chairman and Member of the Management Board.
First customers are expected to be connected to the system by the end of 2017 and starting from 1 Quarter 2018 the service will be available to all bank clients.
The electronic office will help optimise the document flow with the customers, inform the customers of the progress of the conditions precedent and ensure the prompt feedback on applications. However, the bank reserves the right to request printed copies.
The new customer service procedure will primarily be applicable to the bank’s investment units. The bank also plans further optimisation of the electronic document and work flow with customers, including by introducing new functions to the Customer Electronic Office.
State Corporation "Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank)" redeemed its Eurobonds Series 2 issue on November 22, 2017.
The Eurobonds for a nominal amount of USD 600 mn were issued on the Irish Stock Exchange in 2010 with a seven-year maturity period and an annual coupon rate of 5.45%.
The redemption of the Eurobond issue and coupon payments were executed in full and in accordance with the terms of the prospectus.
Irish Stock Exchange cancelled listing of Eurobonds Series 2 with effect from 22nd November 2017.
VEB selects the ‘second wave’ finalist candidates for regional manager positions
Vnesheconombank has completed the evaluation of the ‘second wave’ candidates for regional manager positions. The winners include 28 candidates from 23 Russian constituent entities who will enter into cooperation agreements with the Bank and set about to search for ambitious projects in their respective regions.
Candidates from these regions submitted their applications via the Agency for Strategic Initiatives LEADER-ID platform as part of the VEB new regional-level interaction model. The highly-skilled professionals will search for investment projects for the Bank’s loan portfolio.
During the second qualifying round held in 62 regions, VEB received 323 applications for regional manager positions. From August to October, the Bank experts conducted a closed review of the application forms followed by the interviews with candidates. Afterwards, the candidates took part in remote testing that comprised the assessment of skills such as business-thinking, entrepreneurship, project and task administration, relationship building and influence, open-mindedness and leadership. Following the results, the Bank expert commission identified 28 winners representing 23 regions.
“VEB is taking a new approach to building its federal representative network. The selection was conducted in a highly competitive environment. The successful candidates have shown a comprehensive knowledge of the economy and investment potential of their regions. The best results were demonstrated by candidates from the Novosibirsk, Amur and Chelyabinsk Regions, as well as the Krasnoyarsk Territory. Notably, the Krasnoyarsk Territory has got a complete team of three managers, which is the maximum in compliance with the selection criteria. However, not all regions were represented by strong candidates meeting the strict requirements of Vnesheconombank. In such regions, the selection process continues as the ‘third wave’, the results of which we will announce in December”, said Alexey Ivanchenko, Vnesheconombank Deputy Chairman and Member of the Management Board.
In the near future, the ‘second wave’ winners will undertake on-line training to acquire necessary knowledge and skills to search for investment projects compliant with the VEB requirements.
In December, Moscow will host the Second Conference of regional managers where our new colleagues will be able to better familiarize themselves with Vnesheconombank profile, current business processes, project preparation and implementation stages, as well as take part in practical work, sign cooperation agreements and receive certificates to validate their status.
Thus, based on the first and second qualifying rounds, Vnesheconombank regional team will be represented by 53 regional managers in 39 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. We expect Vnesheconombank to have its representatives in more than a half of the country’s regions.
The First Conference of Vnesheconombank regional managers was held from 25 to 26 September. The VEB regional manager network project was supported by Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin, ASI General Director Svetlana Chupsheva, Business Russia Association President Alexey Repik, Kaliningrad Region Governor Anton Alikhanov and other government officials and business officers who spoke at the conference.
During the first wave, the Bank selected 25 regional managers from 16 Russian constituent entities who got down to work in September.
Regional managers are not on the staff of Vnesheconombank, operate in compliance with cooperation agreements and are remunerated on a ‘success fee’ basis.
Regional managers, project initiators and the Bank interact on a specially-built on-line platform, which became operative in September. The on-line platform is designed to automate the following stages of the investment project lifecycle:
- Origination of clients’ applications and project filtering;
- Rapid project assessment by regional managers;
- Initial project filtering by the VEB control team;
- Providing the Bank with a project concept and business model to initiate in-house expert review
State Corporation “Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank)” is a national development bank and one of Russia’s largest financial institutions. Established in 1924, Vnesheconombank has been operating in compliance with the special Federal Law “On Bank for Development” since 2007. The Bank’s supreme governing body is its Supervisory Board headed by Chairman of the Russian Government Dmitry Medvedev.
The VEB Strategy 2021 provides for an increased focus on financing sophisticated industrial projects, infrastructure, non-resource exports, innovations and projects of the National Technological Initiative (NTI). Seeking to operate at a whole new level of quality, VEB will pro-actively search for projects complying with the state priorities, conduct in cooperation with its customers in-depth analysis of business projects, raise private co-investment, and monitor project delivery using state-of-the-art technology.
Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) is a Russian autonomous company established by the Russian government in 2011 to implement a set of economic and social measures. The Agency promotes priority projects, takes measures to enhance Russia’s business environment, develops human resources, etc.
LEADER-ID is ASI information platform designed to search for, develop and promote leaders. Start of work: July 2013. Number of users: over 91,000.
VEB has launched disbursement of funds to JSC Saratov Institute of Glass for the upgrade of glass manufacturing facilities. The project will boost the plant's capacity from 150 to 350 tonnes per day and will enable manufacturing of new products. As a result, the annual output is expected to reach 10.2 million sq m. VEB’s commitment approximates RUB1bn.
As set out in the strategy, VEB’s activity will facilitate achievement of a wide range of government’s goals in social and economic development, including import substitution. In some sectors, Vnesheconombank’s projects will allow to reduce dependence of the Russian market on import supplies.
“Products manufactured by Saratov plant are one of a kind. There are no other facilities manufacturing glass of this type in Russia, Saratov Institute of Glass is the sole manufacturer of special glass. The reconstruction of the existing facilities will help increase the plant’s output. The products will be made available on the open architectural and structural glass market. The institute can ensure full import substitution,” said Dmitry Kurdyukov, Vnesheconombank’s First Deputy Chairman - Member of the Board.
Special glass (tinted, in bulk tinted, colourless glass with high light transmittance factor and strength) is used in aviation, transport, construction, industrial processing and furniture industry.