Dear friends!

The first month of the summer came to an end, taking with it the busy days of the Economic Forum, the famous White Nights, and the splendor of the Scarlet Sails on the Neva! We celebrated it on the long-awaited traditional summer SPIBA Boat cruise, gathering together members of the association, partners and old friends! We captured the best moments of the evening, and invite you to view them in our online gallery!

We are pleased to announce the establishment of a new Committee on real estate and construction. At the moment we are holding  an election for co-chairs. On June 4, the Committee held its first meeting on the topic – “Investment in infrastructure and utilities – what changes are needed at the legislative level.” The initiator of the event was  Maya Petrova, counsel of ATTORNEYS AT LAW BORENIUS RUSSIA LTD, who conducted a discussion of the federal law “On the basis of public-private partnerships in the Russian Federation,” submitted by the Government of the Russian Federation. Following the meeting  amendments to the bill on public-private partnership were formulated.

On June 6 in conjunction with recruitment holding ANCOR, St. Petersburg International Business Association held a Business Forum “Investments in human capital as the key to company success.” The forum’s theme was chosen intentionally: the problem of human capital investment in the fight for talent and enhancing staff shortage is particularly acute today. The venue choice for the Business Forum was unconventional  – one of the largest museums of modern art “Erarta.” Welcoming remarks were made by Karina Khabacheva, Executive director of SPIBA and business forum moderator Alex Zelentsov, regional director for the North-West of ANCOR. The Business Forum gathered leaders from the largest companies in the region. Among the speakers  were directors of companies such as Heineken Group, Unilever, 3M Russia, HSBC, Ernst & Young, URSA Eurasia, as well as the heads of HR departments of the companies “Siemens Technology Gas Turbines,” PepsiCo, BAT, Rostelecom and others. Key goals for the organizers of the business forum were to create conditions for the communication of business and HR-departments, provide an opportunity to discuss the most pressing issues of today’s market, such as investment in development – a bet on people or technology, reevaluation of employee values, competition for talent in the competitive environment and others. The forum participants – both speakers and delegates – expressed a genuine interest in the topics, actively joined the discussion and generally highly praised the work of the Forum, which will provide an excellent opportunity for an effective dialogue among businesses.

On June 11 the HR Committee and the Committee on Legislation and Lobbying held a meeting on the topic “Discussion of the draft law on outsourced personnel.” The draft law to ban outsourced personnel was accepted by the State Duma in the second reading. Its text differs significantly from the version that was approved for the first time in 2011. During the event leading lawyers and experts tried to answer the questions: What should an employer expect? What is the courts’ attitude towards outsourced personnel, and what changes can be expected in connection with the adoption of the bill? What actions are planned by staffing agencies? These and other issues will be the subject of discussion with experts and practitioners. The moderator of the event was Arina Dovzhenko, Associate at Dentons and and co-chairman of the Committee on Legislation and Lobbying of SPIBA. Alexander Korkin, a Senior associate, Pepeliaev Group, spoke about the formulation of the new bill and Anna Gavrilova, Associate of Baker & McKenzie, highlighted the relevant court practice. Tatiana Leontieva, the head of the macro-region of the leasing company ANCOR commented on the position of recruitment agencies as a result of changes in the law on agency labor.

We are proud to continue to invite members of SPIBA to events related to “SPIBA Cultural Discoveries” that are dedicated to the cultural heritage of St. Petersburg, significant events and outstanding creative personalities of the northern capital. On June 13, we visited the new building of the Mariinsky Theatre, learned about the history and future plans of the theater. We express our gratitude to the administration of the Mariinsky Theatre for the individual approach, the opportunity to be behind the scenes and see from inside how miracles on stage are being created!

On June 14 the Committee on Legislation and Lobbying held a discussion of the resolution of the Supreme Arbitration Court Plenum “On some issues of damage reimbursement by members of governing bodies of the legal entity.” Leading lawyers of international companies commented on the resolution and explained what sanctions can be applied to company directors in proceedings for the recovery of damages caused by a legal entity.

On June 17 the SPIBA Marketing and Communications Committee held a regular Look @ It – visits to companies that are dedicated to the success of big brands in the ST. Petersburg market. We visited the bakery, “Karavay”, which has been delivering fresh, fragrant and delicious bread to the table of every Petersburg family every day for almost one hundred years. After all, bread is the most important and readily available source to replenish essential elements of vitality such as fats, carbohydrates, minerals.

On June 19, summarizing the financial results of the first half of the year, we conducted an analytical review of the economic situation in Russia and the world. Maxim Oreshkin, chief economist for Russia, VTB Capital, presented the financial outlook for the next six months, spoke about the potential threats and opportunities for business and for private parties in the coming period, and the possible economic scenarios in relation to the changes of key indicators for Russia.

On June 20 at SPIBA held abusiness breakfast on anti-corruption legislation. The value of this event was in covering practical issues and giving its participants an opportunity to get answers to specific questions arising in the course of implementing anti-corruption programs in companies. Leading the event and an open discussion, Irina Onikienko, Partner, Capital Legal Services, highlighted the application of anti-corruption legislation using practical examples and made specific recommendations for companies operating in the international arena.

On June 24 The Committee on Human Resources of SPIBA together with AXES Management invited members to participate in a seminar on employee engagement. The urgency of the problem is evidenced by  the fact that more than 70% of companies in the world collect engagement data, but only 20% transform it into visible action. The special guest of the seminar was Ivan Zubakin, senior manager of the department on work with the employees of the General Directorate of JSC “Severstal”, who described the large-scale project of the company, dedicated to building a comprehensive system to work with employee requests.

On June 26 our popular “Breakfast with the Director” once again assembled guests early in the morning for a cup of coffee at the “Corinthia Nevskij Palace.” The guest speaker of the meeting was Sandis Steins, Managing Director, Statoil Retail Operations. Sandis discussed the topic “From operations to cooperation” and covered important aspects of company management such as employee motivation, ethics, employee engagement, innovation, health and safety and environmental care. We express our sincere gratitude to Sandis for the wonderful “Breakfast” and wish him and his company long-term prosperity and development!

Watch for updates in the calendar of events and don’t miss the SPIBA General Meeting with the Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg, which will take place on July 3! Have a great continuation of an unusually hot summer!