Vnesheconombank has extended the first selection stage for certified managers in the Russian regions until May 26, 2017. The decision was taken following the results of discussions between Aleksey Ivanchenko, Deputy Chairman of Vnesheconombank, Member of the Management Board and the Bank’s curator of the project, and candidates for managers at the online briefing entitled “VEB’s New Regional Model”.
During the online webcast joined by over 100 potential candidates for VEB certified managers from various Russian regions, Aleksey Ivanchenko detailed the milestones of Vnesheconombank’s initiative aimed at launching a new mechanism for delivering investment projects in the Russian regions, and answered live questions from the candidates.
The acceptance of applications commenced based on the specialized LEADER-ID platform of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) and was due to close on April 30, 2017. However, in response to numerous requests from regional participants, the deadline has been extended. “We are extending the initial application period until May 26,” Aleksey Ivanchenko said at the briefing, “and we are committed to select up to three candidates from each of Russia’s 23 pilot regions as early as the beginning of June and present them as the managers we are ready to train and certify.”
Certified managers will identify and screen investment projects in their respective regions. It is expected that the managers will interact with VEB online to ensure speedy application processing and decision making. “A certified manager’s task is to find a project and help the project initiator to properly wrap it up,” Aleksey Ivanchenko explains, “and in future to assist in bringing together the various support tools offered by regional governments or regional development corporations to enhance the business model, as well as guiding the project through a more thorough assessment together with a business unit within Vnesheconombank. It will ensure the necessary synergy, which is often lacking.”
Speaking of the competencies the potential candidates for certified managers should have, Vnesheconombank’s deputy chairman stated, “We are looking for people with a significant regional contact base, who are experienced in working on priority projects which have support from regional authorities and the federal government. These should be people who are very familiar with project finance tools, because Vnesheconombank, as an agent of development, seeks to increase its project finance share to 90%.”
Answering questions about possible motivation of the certified managers, Aleksey Ivanchenko said that personal interviews with the candidates will involve discussion of both financial and non-financial incentives.
As to which regional initiatives may be eligible for financial support under the project, Vnesheconombank’s deputy chairman explained that the VEB 2021 Strategy defines five priority investment areas, including infrastructure, production sector, defense industry conversion to civilian products, National Technological Initiative projects, and export. In accordance with the current Memorandum on Financial Policy of Vnesheconombank, to be eligible for consideration, a project must have a value of at least RUB 2 billion and a payback period of five years and more.
At the initial stage, the project comprises 23 pilot regions of the Russian Federation (the list is available at the LEADER-ID website). VEB aims to extend the project over the entire territory of the Russian Federation before the end of 2017. After May 26, the candidates for certified managers in the pilot regions will be selected and, starting from June 1, the candidate selection procedure is expected to be launched in the remaining regions. The Development Project Factory on-line platform for investment project appraisal is scheduled to become operational in August. By September, certified managers are to start using the platform by uploading projects and exercising their judgment. By the end of December 2017, the Development Project Factory will operate in its standard mode with users to be connected from across the Russian Federation.
State Corporation “Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank)” is a national development bank and one of the largest financial institutions in Russia. Established in 1924, Vnesheconombank has been operating in compliance with a special Federal Law on the Bank for Development since 2007. Vnesheconombank’s supreme governing body is the Supervisory Board headed by the Chairman of the Russian Government Dmitry Medvedev.
In compliance with the Strategy 2021, VEB will focus on the financing of projects in downstream industries, infrastructure development, promotion of non-resource exports and conversion of the defense industry to civilian products, support for innovations and the National Technological Initiative projects. Seeking to operate at a whole new level of efficiency, VEB will proactively look for projects meeting the government priorities, perform in-depth analysis of business projects in cooperation with its customers, attract private co-investments, and monitor project progress based on cutting-edge technologies.
The Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) is a Russian autonomous non-commercial organisation established in 2011 by the Government of the Russian Federation to implement a set of economic and social measures. ASI facilitates priority projects, and undertakes various initiatives designed to enhance the business environment in Russia and promote professional development, etc.
LEADER-ID is ASI’s information platform for the search, development and promotion of leaders. The platform is scheduled to start operation in July 2013. The number of users exceeds 87 thousand.