LONDON, June 10 (Reuters) – A senior American banker once secretly granted a shareholding in powerful Moscow investment bank or investment company Renaissance Capital to one of Vladimir Putin’s closest friends and brokered conferences for the friend with top U.S. The American banker, Robert Foresman, currently vice chairman at UBS investment bank or investment company in NY, held a series of prominent tasks in Moscow’s financial world.
A deeply religious conservative, the blue-eyed, curly-haired U.S. Now, a cache of Renaissance Capital emails from 2007 to 2011 reveal new details about the close relationship Foresman cultivated within Putin’s group over the years and how he leveraged these ties to win deals. Foresman’s romantic relationship with the Kremlin was more complicated – and more mercantile – than that of peacemaker, these email messages show.
They offer understanding into how Foresman and his co-workers searched for to help the Kremlin accomplish, and benefit from, it is dismantlement of Yukos at the right time when analysts say Moscow was seeking international legitimacy for the politically-charged process. They also show how the American banker guided Warnig around Washington foreign policy circles during the Bush and Obama administrations. Foresman’s Moscow cable connections gained fresh attention recently when the banker was called in special counsel Robert Mueller’s survey on Russian disturbance in the 2016 election. Based on the survey, Foresman was among the many important people who reached out to Donald Trump when the near future American leader’s marketing campaign was building momentum.
In March 2016, Foresman emailed Trump’s associate inviting the presidential applicant to a global business community forum in St Petersburg, stating he’d acquired “a strategy” from “senior Kremlin officials” about the candidate, according to the survey. The Mueller survey says there wasn’t any proof that Trump’s marketing campaign team followed through to these methods. When questioned by Mueller about these connections, Foresman played down his ties to the Kremlin.
He suggested he was simply wanting to “burnish his credentials” with the Trump team, the Mueller survey says. No charges were made against Foresman. Contacted by Reuters, Warnig and Foresman declined to discuss the transaction. From 2001 to 2006, Foresman worked hand and hand with Warnig as head of Dresdner’s investment banking arm in Moscow, while Warnig was Dresdner Bank’s president for Russia.
In the weeks before and after he received the Renaissance Capital stake, Warnig sought to funnel at least three Kremlin-linked deals the bank’s way, Renaissance Capital emails dated between 2007 and 2009 show. In a single instance, in 2007, Warnig helped broker essential support from Rosneft for a consortium that was bidding for Yukos’ Dutch property in an public sale. A spokesperson for Renaissance Capital said the entity that participated in the consortium was Renaissance Partners, a proprietary investment arm of Renaissance Group.
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Renaissance Capital and Renaissance Partners were under common control of Renaissance Group, but Renaissance Capital itself didn´t participate. The consortium continued to win the auction. However the transaction became mired in lawsuits and was obstructed. Yukos executives successfully argued in a Dutch courtroom that the Russian state had no right to sell a Dutch-incorporated company.
The Dutch Supreme Court ruled earlier this season the sale was illegal. The emails were submitted as proof within that case. They have also been submitted as part of a civil fraud lawsuit filed by Yukos’ former management that is because of come to trial on June 10 in the UK High Court.
The suit alleges Foresman, as vice-chairman of Renaissance Capital, performed an integral role in paving the way for the consortium to knowingly participate in a rigged public sale for the Yukos subsidiary. It alleges the international investors who created the consortium stood to make enormous personal gain, and looks for tens of millions of dollars in problems. In his declaration to Reuters, Foresman said he is contesting the lawsuit vigorously. Among the foreign bankers that joined the investor consortium with Foresman was Stephen Jennings, a tall and lanky New Zealander. Jennings founded Renaissance Capital in 1995, and the lender became symbolic of Russia’s transition to a market economy.
In an interview in 2005 with the Financial Times, Jennings professed expectations that Russia’s financial development under Putin would one day produce a middle class strong enough to counter any authoritarian turn. Instead, the lawsuit alleges, Foresman and Jennings searched for to benefit from Kremlin abuses of the market system and the rule of laws. They acted, the suit claims, together with the two other main Western traders in the consortium: Stephen Lynch, a former U.S.