Author Archives: grosmana

Russia’s economy: Sanctions, default and resilience (Based on the Interview given to Deutsche Welle on 16 March 2022)

Anna Grosman was interviewed by Daniel Winter, Senior Editor, DW Business, Deutsche Welle on 16 March 2022. Below are the extended answers prepared for the interview.

1. How is Russia’s economy coping under the strain of sanctions?

Nearly 400 Western companies left Russia or suspended operations; this will have a knockdown effect on the labor market. The Russian government is preparing new legislation which might allow the abandoned assets to be temporarily managed by an external administrator, then sold at auction to a new buyer.

The government took the decision to stabilize the exchange rate of the Russian rouble against the dollar by providing better liquidity to the Russian central bank and decreasing the amount of speculative transactions (that means that the official exchange rate and the market exchange rate would be the same, which is difficult in practice due to extreme volatility of rouble and low liquidity).

Russia will increase its trade flows with China and India; this includes the construction of pipelines to redirect gas from Europe to China (longer-term); oil tankers are easier to redirect, no need for new infrastructure

  • China will try to substitute the market made available by the leaving multinationals with its own products
  • This also means that Russia will rely on China’s payment system and currency
  • Alternatively, Russia will be replacing sanctioned goods with own Russian products and technologies (such as messaging systems, e.g. VK messaging services; subsidies to Russian businesses for developing fast food chains)
  • The government is envisaging to cancel customs tax on critical imported goods for the next 6 months, such as vegetables and grain, food ingredients, pharmaceuticals, textiles, metals, construction materials, and spare parts for aircrafts.

2. What are companies doing to adapt to the sanctions?

  • The hardest part for the business is the increased cost of financing. The businesses will be looking at different types of payments such as cryptocurrencies, gold, renminbi.

3. Is a rapid pivot of supply chains to China realistic? (Or is that something longer term?)

It is not entirely unrealistic since China is already a major trading partner. Chinese brands comprise 60% of the Russian smartphone market, but the rouble devaluation and sanctions may be slowing down the Chinese companies’ abilities to replace their Western counterparts in Russia. China’s sovereign wealth fund and state-owned companies will be the most likely buyers of disposed stakes in Russian assets, especially if they are partially owned by the Russian government.

4. There’s been talk of one or the other side turning off the Russian gas taps to Europe. How serious would this be for the Russian economy?

Russia will increase its trade flows with China; India and Eurasia; this includes the construction of pipelines to redirect gas from Europe to China

5. How serious is Russia’s debt situation right now?

The broadcasted interview can be watched here:

Economic implications from sanctions on Russia

  • The previous sanctions following the Russia/ Ukraine crisis in 2014 had a limited effect on the Russian economy: the Russian sanctions imposed on European and American food imports resulted in about an 8 times stronger decline in trade flows than those imposed by the EU and the US on exports of extraction equipment. The difference in sanctions’ effectiveness was attributed to the limited retroactivity of Western sanctions, which allowed some exemptions, according to a recent study.
  • Current sanctions also have exemptions, such as exports of gas energy.  Current sanctions by US, Canada, UK, EU, Switzerland,  Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand (as of 2 March 2022) are against Russian banks which have operations abroad, large businesses, state-owned assets, payments using Swift network, the foreign assets of the Russian political and business elite, the foreign listings of Russian firms, access to financing in the countries imposing the sanctions, limiting access for the Russian Central Bank to its foreign reserves, shutting down access to European ports, and deposits by Russian nationals in the EU of over EUR100,000.
  • A number of US (Apple, Ford, Boeing, Walt Disney, Warner Bros), UK (BP) and EU (Volvo, Renault) multinationals are ceasing their trade with Russia, citing the economic and reputational effect of sanctions on their activities.
  • The governments are also using pressure on their state-owned multinationals (cf. Equinor) and sovereign wealth funds (Norway’s Government Pension Fund) to dispose of their assets in Russia; therefore the use of discreet power by the states on Russia will intensify.
  • Russia will react to current sanctions by rediverting its trade flows to Asia and Eurasian Economic Union, and away from countries that have already previously imposed sanctions on Russia, according to a statement being prepared by the Ministry of Economic Development (Минэкономразвития).
  • The Russian businesses have strong connections to the Russian government, with many firms directly or indirectly controlled by the state, through ownership, board representations, or informal connections.
  • President Putin met with business leaders and urged them to support the Russian economy through this period, and to find the tools that would allow sustaining production and employment. The Russian firms have already experienced dealing with restrictions and sanctions in 2014, with some businesses starting locally producing goods previously provided in Russia through foreign exports, or choosing new trading partners.
  • The Russian economy is stronger than in 2014, but the current sanctions are expected to have a stronger impact than the previous sanctions in 2014. The Central Bank, for the first time since 2013, reported a liquidity deficit, due to cash withdrawals following the fall of rouble.
  • Russia is also imposing sanctions on the West: Russia bans coupon payments to foreigners holding rouble bonds; forbids foreign money transfers from Russia by non-residents over $5000 towards 43 ‘unfriendly’ countries.

Mike Wright

25 November 2019

Today my dear friend, colleague, co-author, mentor and former Ph.D. supervisor Professor Mike Wright passed away after a short battle with lung cancer. I am terribly saddened by this news. He is irreplaceable not only for me but for many others that he inspired over his wonderful life. But I am also so grateful to have had worked with Mike over the last nine years.

Mike was not only a brilliant scholar and a kind person, but also a person I could trust, always giving this bit of advice that only someone who knew the world of academia inside out could give. He knew how to work with people and was often the ‘glue’ of teams of co-authors that he put together. I remember I asked him how he managed to edit 10 books and 20 special issues at a time with so many people. He just knew the whole world.

A lot of Mike’s work at the beginning of his career was done around privatization in Russia, CIS, and CEE, corporate governance, and strategy in emerging economies. Some of his most cited works – e.g., AMJ (2000) and JMS (2005) are from that period. His research reached into so many different areas – entrepreneurship (he is the most cited scholar in the field of entrepreneurship only according to Google Scholar), private equity and buyouts, university spin-outs, and many others (according to his Imperial web site, he has written over 40 books and more than 300 papers in academic and professional journals, but even that is probably an understatement!).

He agreed to become one of my supervisors shortly after he joined Imperial College in 2011. I was doing work on corporate governance in Russia and he was still interested in this field. I remember our first supervision meetings. Mike would sit in front of his computer, halfway turned towards me, and while I was bubbling away about my progress, he would listen, comment, occasionally refer to a JMS or SMJ article from a few years ago (he literally knew by heart the content of each issue) and AT THE SAME TIME write editorial decision letters, edit manuscripts, respond to emails, and many other things like arranging his train rides between Nottingham and London. I learned to share Mike’s time with many other people. This is how Mike worked, and this is why he was so prolific. After I graduated, I continued to work with Mike and published my first paper with him and Ilya Okhmatovskiy on state control in transition economies, and then published another paper with him and Ruth Aguilera originating from my Ph.D. work on Russia’s corporate governance. We went on to organize an SMS extension on state capitalism in 2018 and secured a contract with Oxford University Press for the Handbook on State Capitalism (co-edited with Geoff Wood, Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra, Pei Sun and Ilya Okhmatovskiy) and also launched a call for the special issue on State Capitalism in Journal of World Business.

As many know, Mike was a huge fan of Bob Dylan. His skype profile was Bob Dylan’s picture. He was also a BlackBerry fan. Hence he was either responding a second later or never.

I am sure there would be many aspects of Mike’s work or his wonderful personality that people would remember. This is Mike how I will always remember him. I have been lucky enough to work with him, and I will continue to work on the projects we started, for him, for his legacy.

State Capitalism SMS Extension

State Capitalism and the Firm Conference, Boston, 2019

State Capitalism and the Firm
Sunday, 11th August 2019, 08:30-19:00 Northeastern University, Raytheon Amphitheater at the Egan Research Center 120 Forsyth St, Boston, MA 02115
This mini-conference organized by Northeastern University, Loughborough University London, and Brandeis University, brings together scholars from a variety of academic disciplines to explore how capitalism works today. It will examine new forms of state capitalism that often cross the boundaries that traditionally separated state enterprises and private businesses. This separation was reflected in prior research focused on the antecedents and consequences of nationalization and privatization of companies. However, the distinction between state and private, between political logic and market logic becomes blurry when we consider some of the companies that raised to prominence during the last 10-20 years. Such hybrid organizations can be found all over the world, but they play a particularly prominent role in emerging economies. During this mini-conference, topics will be addressed, such as the internationalization of state-owned firms, state-owned business groups, investment strategies of sovereign wealth funds, the effect of state ownership on innovation patterns, and several others.
The conference is free but space is limited, please register here:
The keynote speakers at the event are leading scholars in State Capitalism, starting with Professor Ruth V. Aguilera, most known for her scholarly contribution to the development of theories of comparative corporate governance.
Professor Yasheng Huang, MIT, undeniably one of the top scholars on China’s State Capitalism will do another keynote at the event.
Also speaking at the conference is Professor Christopher Marquis, Cornell, Associate Editor ASQ Journal, known for his top research on CSR. Professor William L. Megginson, University of Oklahoma, an American economist who is most known for his earlier works on privatization will share with us his latest research on state capitalism from a financial economics perspective.
If you are interested in the recent developments of State Capitalism in Brazil, Professor Aldo Musacchio will chair a panel with an industry speaker from BNDES on the impact of development banks on Brazilian economy.
The conference also includes a preview of the forthcoming OUP Handbook on State Capitalism and the Firm, and presentations by selected contributors, on state-owned multinationals, state CSR, state innovation, hybrid governance, regional views on Latin America, East Asia and Eastern Europe etc.



Research visit to LUISS University, Rome, Italy

In November 2018, I visited LUISS University, the department of Business & Management, led by Professor Alessandro Zattoni. I enjoyed very much my stay at LUISS, a fantastic research environment and a vibrant student community, and as part of the research visit, I gave a  Research Seminar on ‘Independent Directors and Share Repurchases’. I hope this is a start of future fruitful research collaborations. IMG-20181108-WA0007IMG_20181108_175952_207IMG_20181108_175952_204IMG_20181108_175952_206


The Effects of CEO turnover under conditions of complexity

In June 2018, I visited Higher School of Economics in St Petersburg, Russia. As part of this research collaboration, Dr Aleksandrova and myself presented our joint paper with Prof Mickiewicz and Prof. Liu on “The Effects of CEO Turnover under Conditions of Complexity” during a research seminar organized on June, 13th, 2018. Further details can be found this press release.

Anna Grosman (Loughborough University)
Tomasz Mickiewicz (Aston University)
Xiaohui Liu (University of Birmingham),
Ekaterina Aleksandrova (Higher School of Economics)

Abstract. We investigate why sometimes the new CEO brings a positive effect to the firm, and sometimes the short-term effect is negative. We posit that while both effects are present simultaneously, which one will dominate is contingent on complexity. We see the latter as an overarching heuristic concept that helps us to reconcile the phenomena that have not been integrated into one theory before. We argue that CEO turnover is unlikely to be positive in the short run and under conditions of complexity, precisely organizational complexity (related to larger firms or part of business groups), relational complexity (associated with firms with state or foreign ownership), or environmental complexity (for firms in high-tech industries or engaging in international trading). We stress bounded rationality and cognitive limitations.

Strategic Management Society Extension – State Capitalism

On September 21, 2018, Loughborough University London will host the extension of Strategic Management Society Conference on State Capitalism, funded by the Society for Advancement of Management Studies.

The theme of this extension is linked to the theme of the main conference, Strategies in the Era of De-Globalization. The rapid expansion of state-owned firms from emerging economies has been perceived as a potential threat by incumbents in advanced economies. Populist politicians have presented state-owned firms as rapacious acquirers that need to be stopped. The corruption scandals associated with the relationships between the state and state-owned firms also contributed to the perceived risks associated with the expansion of state-affiliated companies. As a result, state-affiliated companies that became important players in the globalization process also emerged as the central targets for the protectionists’ initiatives.


During this extension, we will be holding a paper development workshop session. If you are working on a paper about state capitalism and would like to receive feedback on your paper during this workshop, please email your proposal by August 1, 2018 to the extension organizers Anna Grosman (, Ilya Okhmatovskiy ( and Mike Wright ( Your proposal should follow the SMS proposal format. After reviewing the proposals, we will get back to all authors by August 15, 2018 and invite the authors of accepted proposals to submit full papers by September 1, 2018. This PDW is especially relevant for scholars who are interested in submitting their manuscripts to the Special Issue of Journal of World Business on “State Capitalism in International Context.”

More details can be found on

To register for the event, please follow the link

Global world state capitalism

Extension organisers

Anna GrosmanLoughborough University London

Ilya OkhmatovskiyUniversidade Nova de Lisboa

Mike WrightImperial College London


Alvaro Cuervo-CazurraNortheastern University

Jonathan DohVillanova University

Anna GrosmanLoughborough University London

Aldo MusacchioBrandeis University

Pei SunFudan University

Geoff WoodUniversity of Essex



An exciting guest lecture not to be missed! CEO and Founder of Azoomee, Douglas Lloyd | 3rd May, 1-2pm | LDN.1.03 |

azoomee-teaserAs part of Small Business Finance Module I am lecturing, I am hosting CEO and Founder of Azoomee, Douglas Lloyd.

Azoomee is an app designed to provide safe TV shows, games and audiobooks for children. Since its inception, the company has raised over £2.3m and recently raised £800,000 via Crowdcube (77% over its target).

Douglas has 12 years’ experience working in corporate finance and private equity in London, Paris and New York. Prior to Azoomee, Douglas co-founded, funded and built VB Research, a digital media business focusing on the renewable energy and cyber security sectors.

This guest lecture is open to all current students, staff and alumni.


The Good, the Great and the Independent: The Impact of Board Composition on Blockholder Appropriation


I will present the paper “The Good, the Great and the Independent: The Impact of Board Composition on Blockholder Appropriation ” co-authored with Ruth Aguilera (Northeastern University) and Mike Wright (Imperial College) at a research seminar hosted by the UCL SSEES Centre for Comparative Studies of Emerging Economies.

Wednesday 25 January 2017, 12:30-14:00.

Location: UCL SSEES, 16 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW. Room: 431

Convenor: Dr Elodie Douarin

Lunch refreshments will be provided. All Welcome.