The Kremlin is desperate to turn Moscow into a throbbing global financial centre, but they need some help to do it.
Right now Moscow is ranked 68th out of 75 cities in the Global Financial centres Index, says Bloomberg.
So who have they asked for some help? Pretty much every bank chief from another global financial centre: Wall Street.
Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon and Vikram Pandit have all just been recruited by the Kremlin to advise Russia on how to turn Moscow into a finance hub, Bloomberg reports.
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev announced 27 people in total to be part of the group. Apart from the Goldman, JP Morgan and Citi chiefs, BofA’s Brian Moynihan was also asked, and so was Blackstone head Steve Schwarzman.
Even though it looks like Russia pretty much asked any American bank CEO to join the project, there’s one name noticeably absent: Morgan Stanley’s Jim Gorman.
What’s weirder is that the ex-CEO (and current Chairman) John Mack, was asked to help out. Awkward.
Russia wants to “lessen its dependence on natural resources by promoting “innovative” technologies, selling state assets and creating a “special sovereign” fund to attract foreign capital,” Medvedev said. And he wants American bankers to help create the legal and physical infrastructure required to “lure financial flows to the Russian capital.”
“We believe it is very important to participate in the committees advising President Medvedev on how to transform Moscow into a financial centre,” said Dimitri Agishev, a Deutsche Bank spokesman, in an e-mailed statement. Russia continues to be a key market with ample opportunities.”