During a wet day travel-teaching in Rippon, Yorkshire, a local Bahá’í, Victor Priam, introduced a group of us to his ceramics studio, and I made my first pot. I was 15. Ceramics and throwing clay have been a hobby since then. So now, having moved back to the UK after 40 years abroad, I am starting to turn a hobby into a part of my life.
Every person must have an occupation, a trade or a craft, so that he may carry other people’s burdens, and not himself be a burden to others.‘Abdu’l-Bahá from a Tablet – translated from the Persian
I have created, developed and sold a credit rating agency in Russia, one of the most adverse economic and regulatory climates in the world.
*RusRating was started from scratch in Moscow and became the premier local credit rating agency in Russia trusted by local and international banks, and the regulators.
*A large Russian bank with an international Eurobond took us to court suing us for USD 20m for defamation of reputation because we down-graded them. We lost the first case and fined USD600, either the reputation of the bank wasn’t much to begin with, or the damage caused wasn’t so great. We appealed on the principle of freedom of speech, and won.
*The development of RusRating was a part of a movement within Russia to a law-based, civil society, and this lead to international conferences in New York. The social pendulum in Russia has moved the other way since then, but like all social change, it will swing back in time.
I was the chairman of the founding group for the CFA Association (Russia), and I served as its President for 10 years until I relocated to Hong Kong.
*The CFA Association (Russia) was essentially an NGO with an elected governing council containing members from across the financial industry, including regulators and major banks.
*The charter documents set out voting for nine names, the election of officers among the Board, the principle of decision making by consultation.
I worked as a Vice-President for Citibank and created a rating methodology for assessing the corporate governance of Russian companies.
I worked at the leading Russian investment bank (Renaissance Capital) to create its bank analysis division, producing the first consistent analyses of Russia’s Sberbank – the largest bank in Russia.
I have contributed to the development of Raku – a remarkable new programming language that has emerged from the very widely known and used Perl language.