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Q&A: Browder stands defiant

Q&A with Bill Browder, founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, the biggest foreign investor in Russia.

Bill Browder is founder and chief executive of Hermitage Capital Management
Bill Browder is founder and chief executive of Hermitage Capital Management, the biggest foreign investor in Russia. He is a leading shareholder rights activist and an outspoken critic of corporate governance practices in Russia. Since last November he has been barred from the country under a law that excludes foreigners who threaten national security, although no further explanation has been given. Speaking to Euromoney, Browder puts forward his views on the reasons for the expulsion.

Who do you think is behind your expulsion?

I don’t know who caused it. It is one of the most talked about conspiracy theories circulating around Moscow these days. I can say who didn’t do it. I am the most outspoken western supporter of president Vladimir Putin, so it seems very unlikely that this was a political decision. In my view this was caused by someone misusing administrative resources for business purposes.

Was it a bolt from the blue?

Not really – I’ve never been complacent. We’ve been shareholder activists in Russia for 10 years; there are lots of people who are not happy with us and we are used to problems like this.

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