Russia ranks high with many corporations as a priority market, but its challenges and political risks are real. Success in Russia requires a sound understanding of the market, a well-devised strategy including options for adjusting to changing conditions, relationships with Russian decision makers, and trustworthy local partners.
Building on decades of experience working with officials in Moscow and other regions of Russia, The Cohen Group (TCG) team has supported clients in Russia with government affairs, business strategy, and media management including:
- addressing Russian policy and regulations;
- building relationships with government decision makers and others with influence on business;
- helping to shape the US-Russia bilateral agenda for policies affecting business;
- advising clients on distribution models and marketing strategies; and
- maintaining business intelligence, including monitoring Russian-language media and social media.
Our support to clients has involved working with Russian policy makers, regulators, Duma members, civil society leaders, Russian media, and US and European Union officials to address trade and investment issues.
We have done this work for US and other firms in such sectors as vehicles, construction equipment, energy services, heavy industrial, aerospace, regulated nutraceuticals, and consumer products. Examples include:
- Assisted a US consumer products firm to enter the Russian market successfully, providing government and media strategy to better enable our client to grow from zero sales to over $600 million in annual revenue from personal care, nutritional, and home care products.
- For a consumer products firm, established a system to monitor Russian-language media and social media to enable our client to track franchisees in Russia, and developed rules for franchisees behavior to protect the client's brand and avoid intervention by Russian regulators.
- Advised aerospace and basic materials firms on the impact of evolving Russian policies on strategic industries, assisting clients to take actions ranging from divesting and departing Russia to more effectively managing situations from which they could not or did not want to disengage.
- Extensive due diligence on Russian firms and executives, including to identify possible links to Russian government, intelligence and organized crime, using open and other sources.
- Developed relations with leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose extensive influence in Russian civil society has been very important to certain client interests.
- Assisted a US manufacturer to identify and assess alternative models for distribution in Russia, evaluating supply chain management, brand management, and risk management issues.
- Advised a large US oil and gas producer on a range of regulatory and market issues affecting their current and prospective business operations in Russia.
- Advised numerous clients on matters regarding US and European Union sanctions on Russian companies and individuals, Russian sanctions on Ukrainian and Western businesses, and countering corrupt practices in Russia.
- Advised financial services clients on measures to mitigate risk from Russian cyber threats.