— To invest in Russia is always a good idea. It is a country with a 140,000,000 consumers, it has sound state finances compared to some European countries, and it has a stable political system. In my opinion, it is always worth investing in Russia and its capital, but you need to do it in a responsible manner.
He was born in the south of Sweden. He graduated from Lund University (LLM) and also studied in London. From 2001 to the present, he has been working in the Swedish law firm Mannheimer Swartling. From 2003, he was on secondment in the European Investment Bank.
He has been living and working in Moscow since 2007.
He speaks Swedish, German, English and Russian.
Mannheimer Swartling is one of the largest Swedish law firms, specializing in matters of financial, commercial and corporate law. It has four branches in Sweden and seven foreign ones – in Russia, Germany, the USA and Belgium.
The company employs about 400 lawyers.
The 86 partners are co-owners of the firm.
In 1990, Mannheimer Swartling became the first European law firm to open a branch in Moscow. Initially its activities were concerned with settling judicial and arbitration disputes, but soon the firm’s practice in Russia was expanded, and at the present time, Mannheimer Swartling provides services in most sectors of law to do with business.
Of course sanctions have had an effect on business, although on the whole, we are not seeing any panic in Russia. Many of our businessmen have been here a very long time, they have strong links... Yes, some have been forced to leave Russia, e.g. exporters of food products. However, this is a good thing for your country in a way, you can set up your own production facilities on the spot.
— To start a business in a developing market is always a challenge. But as I usually say, specifically to small and medium businessmen, it is no more difficult in Russia than, say, in China, Indonesia or Brazil. However, in Europe it is often considered, again under the influence of the media, that everything is far more difficult here. This is not the case. The important thing is to study the rules thoroughly and follow them. And not to listen to the advice of those who come up to you and say: with my help you could well “cut a few corners” and do everything more quickly. This is a very dangerous path.
— As far as I know, in your legal practice you also specialized in questions of anti-corruption laws. How do you think matters stand with regard to corruption in Russia?
1. Study the situation in your selected field of business.
Do your homework. Think through carefully just how you are going to integrate your company into the business already existing in Russia.
2. Pick your team.
This is perhaps the most difficult. Don’t think you can hire personnel on the cheap in Russia. But you can find good and loyal workers here, to whom it is worth paying a decent salary.
3. Study Russian laws and try to conform to them.
But don’t try to get round them. Sometimes you may be offered a way to “cut corners” – but don’t give way to temptation.
4. If you come here, plan for the long term.
There is no sense in only coming to Russia for a year. The situation changes, there are rises and falls. Don’t fall at the first fence.
5. Make more contacts and links.
This will help in your business. I’m not talking about common corruption. I would prefer to call it the legal “corruption of friendship”. Friendly contacts may get you out of a difficult situation.