Vladimir Yakunin will do business

Former President of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin became the sole founder of LLC “Bridges”. According to “SPARK-Interfax”, the company with registered capital of 1 million rubles was registered on 6 April 2016. The main activity is advising on commercial activity and management.

A representative Yakunin said that “Bridges” will render consulting services, including infrastructure. He added that to talk about specific projects and about whether the firm to co-operate with the Railways, yet.

The new company was registered in Moscow in the street Pokrovka. At the same address are headed by Yakunin, the Foundation “Dialogue of civilizations” and established them as the Foundation of “Origins.” “Dialogue of civilizations”, according to information on the official site, puts the problem of pooling efforts of the world community to protect spiritual and cultural values and create a constructive dialogue between the major civilizations of the modern world. But “Origins” is called its mission the strengthening of the spiritual foundations of Russian society and moral education on the basis of Orthodoxy.

The company “Bridges” is the first commercial project Yakunin after retirement.

Yakunin had resigned as the President of the Russian Railways in August 2015 and since then has focused on public and expert activities. While he is on the Board of Directors of Russian Railways, but in February, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said that the government will not be in the summer of 2016 to re-elect the former head of monopoly in the new Board. Yakunin 2015 also became a member of the Supervisory Board of OJSC “ELTEZA”, a 50-percent “daughter” of Russian Railways that manufactures railway automation.

The largest investors in transport infrastructure — the government and state-owned companies, although the economic crisis is holding back investment growth. In 2016, the government plans to spend from the Federal budget on development of roads 536,6 billion rubles, and the regions still 416,9 billion From the national welfare Fund is planned to spend 150 billion for the construction of the Central ring road and another 150 billion for modernization of the Baikal-Amur mainline. Expenses on RZD investment program in 2016 will make 432 billion roubles and, according to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, will not be revised.

Senior associate Herbert Smith Freehils Roman Churakov explains that consulting, including infrastructure projects, is of three kinds: financial, legal and technical. Leading positions on the first two markets are large international companies like PwC or E&Y, and the third well-represented Russian players, for example the Institute “Stroyproekt”. According to estimates Churakova, the total market volume “is calculated from one of the hundreds of millions of dollars to a few”, but the competition is very high. “Yakunin the company will be successful if he has a good connection, because in this market it is extremely important to trust the state, especially for large projects,” he says.

A senior official of the Ministry of transport on the question of a possible job with the company Yakunin replied that he did not know of its existence. “People just registered, and you pick up the customers”, — said the source.

The transport Ministry has not yet provided a comment, if they were going to work with “Bridges”. In the Railways said that the answer to this question is possible only after evaluation of the company product and its competitiveness. “With the company we haven’t met and first heard about its existence,” — said the press service, adding that cooperation from the “Bridges” is not received.