The Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation registered All-Russian Public Organization Russian Club of Financial Directors. Tamara Kasyanova, First Vice President of RCFD explained us why the financial profession needs its own club.
Tamara Aleksandrovna, what is the main concept of the all-Russian Club of financial employees?
|Kasyanova Tamara Aleksandrovna
Russian Club of Financial Directors combines the philosophy inherent to nationwide organizations and club movements. It is more interesting. The Club brings together professionals having similar interests and mentality. When it comes to financial employees business and professional interests come to the fore. We feel like developing and communicate with educated and strong people. The Club provides a possibility for financial employees to establish new contacts, exchange experience and to share professional opinions with colleagues. However, financial executives do not have enough time to rest and for hobbies. The Club provides a possibility to develop professionally and personally.
Even the strongest person will benefit from a support. The club system allows to significantly expand business contacts, become a part of a powerful and competent professional association and to have friends. Financial Directors and employees are not an exception and also need a helping hand and support of colleagues.
First, it is an official all-Russian association, based on membership and acting on the bases of the Articles of Association. Our Club has a formal registration, this fact evidences that it is a stable and reliable organization focused on long-term operation.
Secondly, RCFD is the only organization of a nationwide scale, aiming at consolidation of the Russian financial profession. There are individual associations of financial executives in Russia, but they have representations not in all the cities of Russia and such a scale as we have. In accordance with the Russian legislation only RCFD is entitled to use prefix “Russian” in its name. This means that there are no organizations similar to RCFD. We shall be happy to cooperate with other professional associations. In fact, we have already started cooperation with other associations.
Thirdly, among our members we have directors of major companies, top management, investment and banking experts, university professors, and prominent financial experts. Some of the members of RCFD consist in expert councils of the State Duma of the Russian Federation and cooperate with the government organizations and major businesses.
Does this mean that only financial directors or top managers may apply for membership in your Club?
Absolutely not. Indeed the name of the Club may suggest that we work only with financial directors. However, under financial directors we mean all the specialists engaged in financial management. For example, in some companies chief accountants may perform two functions, i.e. financial management and accounting. Such a specialist may also apply for membership with the Club. Leading analysis, university professors of financial subjects, managers of financial departments of municipal organizations are welcomed in our Club. To be a member of Russian Club of Financial Directors is an honor and we select our members very carefully.
How are you planning to maintain the interest of financial executives? How can financial executives benefit from the membership?
Being a public organization we do our best to attract competent professionals. First of all, Russian Club of Financial Directors is actively working to open up new possibilities for each Club member in business area. RCFD as a professional association may support a financial specialist in career and professional development, promoting him or her to the key positions in government organizations or major companies. Besides, each Club member can make useful social contacts and obtain lost of important and unique information straight from the source. Every day we work hard and use mass media to distribute this information to the public.
RCFD is a platform for networking and discussing, where professionals can share their projects and get expert feedback. It is also a place where public opinion is formed and the standards of professional appraisal are developed. Club members can also obtain the support in implementation of their projects and ideas. We help our members to find investors and develop joint projects.
Besides, the Club members have a possibility to publish their works on the Club’s portal. RCFD members can have up-to-date information on any important international meeting, conferences and forums of financial employees and take part in them.
RCFD offers the financial experts a possibility to participate in the development of legislative initiatives, lobbies for the interests of the financial profession at the government level. Lobbying is an important part of our daily work.
All these possibilities for professional development, raising qualification and participation in social activities of the financial profession provide the Club members with a significant competitive advantage on the market. The main thing is to use this competitive advantage correctly. We are interested in attracting active, smart, educated and strong people, as everyone will benefit from this.
What are your plans for region work?
Region work is one of the most important of our activities. It is important to understand that Moscow is not the entire Russian Federation. We are focused on establishing more regional representations. Our aim is to create a strong public corporation with educated and powerful members. Club members will operate in various sectors. Club representatives will be available in any region and if necessary one can contact them to obtain any information and organize a meeting or make transaction. As a result we have a significant synergetic effect. It is obvious that such a region work is one of the main tasks of Russian Club of Financial Directors.
What will be the total number of your members?
Taking into account all the specialties of the Club the total number of our members will approximately make 10-20 thousand. This amount is significant indeed, taking into consideration that it includes high level professionals. Besides, each member of our Clubs is a talented person capable of making money and building a carrier. Such persons are engaged in everyday management of the business processes of the country.
I guess that we’ll achieve the stated amount in two or three years as the interest in the Club is constantly growing. Apparently, such a number of consolidated members of the Club will represent a significant and efficient association having great possibilities.
Dmitry Medvedev at the time when he was holding the office of the President of the Russian Federation, started the development of the federal law on lobbying. Are you planning to take part in this activity?
Yes, of course. I guess, that the Club as an all-Russian public organization will lobby the interests of the professional community and individual structures in the State Duma and local legislative assembles and executive government bodies. Lobbying is a professional type of activity, complicated and very important. Lobbying is the most civilized and acceptable strategy to support the interests of individual persons and companies. Lobbying has been practiced in the US and Europe already for a long time, and experts in this area in most cases senators and congressman have always been in great demand.
Only a professional association can secure the solutions which are beneficial for each party, pursue a correct lobbying policy and prepare the required documents professionally. The Russian Club of Financial Directors is capable to represent and protect the interest of financial employees.
What is your strategy of work?
Our strategy is to organize cooperation of the highest and prominent officials and managers of corporations. Not all the organizations are capable to do so, as this requires not only desires but also potentials. We shall select partner organizations to expand the resources available to the Club members. We are planning to develop cooperation with banking associations, audit companies and governmental authorities.
How will your social work be organized?
There are main activity mechanisms of organizations. We’ll try to apply them to the interests of the financial profession. First, it is necessary to identify the interests of representatives of the profession. That is why the first type of activity is collection of information; the second is careful study of the information and the third – making conclusions.
It is necessary to collect, substantiate and summarize the information. Secondly, it is necessary to develop the process of communication, organize events and provide people with networking possibilities. Thirdly, it is necessary to hold events to enable people to exchange their experience and develop their qualifications. It is necessary to hold conferences, including international conferences. Fourthly, it is necessary to organize the process of communication between officials and businessmen as this is very important. There are lots of unsettled issues. Fifthly, it is necessary to constantly enhance the image of the financial profession.
It is necessary to develop legislation protecting the interests of the profession, it is necessary to develop and introduce professional standards to protect the financial community form dubious dealers, fraudsters. It is necessary to carry out a mission of social importance: act as neutral party and expert in dispute settlement between commercial organizations and the government. We shall provide our consultations both to the government bodies and businesses.
What are your plans for the promotion of your members’ interests?
Despite of the fact that there are organizations aimed at enhancement of connections in professional communities, there has never been any organization that would bring together financial directors at the nationwide level in Russia, prior to the establishment of the Club. That is why we are responsible for the representation of interests not only of the Club members but of the whole financial profession.
The work on promotion of our members’ interests may be related with their personal carrier development, development of their personal projects and support in implementation of their work related duties. I see no sense in disclosing them now. I can only add that we understand how to do it and we’ll do it properly.
Besides, we are preparing a number of proposals to improve the financial system of the country for the government, organizing the groups of the best representatives of the financial professional to promote them to the key positions of state and municipal and legislative bodies, state-financed organizations, major commercial organizations and other structures.
More over we need to make analytical surveys, reports on the problems of the Russian economy, carry out research and innovative activities and introduce new cash flows management technologies.
What is your strategy for the development of partner relationships of the Club?
We select partner organizations in orders to expand the resources available for the Club members. We are planning to establish cooperation with banking associations and investment, insurance and audit organizations. In our opinion the most important is to establish relationships with the government bodies and first and foremost with the Administration of the President of Russian, the Central Bank of Russia, the Ministry of Finance and the Account Chamber.
We are also planning to cooperate with major international companies and associations capable to expand our business relationships and attract additional investments in the projects of the Club. Among them there is International Bank of Economic Co-Operation (IBEC), European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), European Investment Bank (EIB), Asian Development Bank ADB) and other major international organizations.
What are your plans for the development of international relationships?
International cooperation is one of the main activities of Russian Club of Financial Directors. Until recently, there has been no really large – scale associations of financial employees, capable to represent the interests of Russian financial directors abroad. However, Russia has huge potential. Together we can involve overseas financial executives and manager in communication with Russian colleagues, which will facilitate capital inflows, and enhancement of trust in the Russian economic and experts. One of the main tasks of ours is to enhance the image of Russia abroad.
Our current task is to bring the process of development of international relationships to a new level and to create a platform for exchange of experience.
Each opinion and idea shall be considered, worked out and introduced in practice by the Club. Russian Club of Financial Directors guarantees that our contacts with overseas organizations are stable and based on personal communication and contracts.
Which international organizations you are planning to establish contacts with?
First of all we are planning to establish contacts with Financial Executives International Association, Private Equity CFO Association, Association for Financial Professionals, European Financial Association and others. There are lots of similar organizations in the world and all of them are quite powerful and efficient. To cooperate with them an association needs to have the status of a nationwide organization and recognition across the country.
What do you think about exchange of information between the members of the Club?
The Club members need to be well informed and have a possibility to establish contacts in the required sector or another region. Our primary task is to establish contacts between the Russian and overseas financial executives.
In is important not only to reach some formal agreements, but also to establish stable contacts and relationships and to create the bases for collaboration. Friendly, informal networking of top mangers is always welcome.
What is the power of the Club based on and what the Club can influence in general?
Financial directors, financial analysis, scientists engaged in the development and analysis of financial models are very influential persons. Activity of the Club is based on the prestige of its members. Each member has his or her own area of influence and professional opinion on any issue. If their capabilities are brought together in one resource we’ll be able to greatly succeed. It’s evident.
Is the Russian Club of Financial Directors planning to implement business projects?
Of course, development of innovative business projects is one of the most important activities of the Club. Each member of RCFD can benefit. The Club has its own projects, but it also takes part in and supports another projects.
Each financial director has his or her own projects and plans to earn more and efficiently. However, based on my own experience I can conclude that it is quite complicated to develop a project without any support. One may lack money, relationships and capabilities to protect a project from any risks. Those who managed to implement at least one project can understand what I am speaking about. Any new business project consists of a lot of events and possibilities making its success. Those elements need to be carefully checked, unnecessary elements should be eliminated, and sound ideas need to be implemented, all these make a single scenario of successful course of events. This is exactly what the Club is meant for.
How can a financial employee benefit from the membership in Russian Club of Financial Director for his or her carrier? Do you provide any support?
Indeed, personal carrier of each member of the Club is the key issue of our activities. Financial directors are exposed to significant risks. Everyone is familiar with the situation where in case of a change of the owner or significant changes in the ownership structure, a financial director becomes the first candidate for replacement. Despite of the fact that there are no professional claims against such a financial director, new owners, as a rule, prefer to have a neutral person on this position. So, financial directors can be easily turned out of the job.
The Club members according to its development principles and the Articles of Association should help each other, and the Club as a legal entity should provide its support to each of its members. On the whole, it is we who can help financial directors in building their personal carriers.
We do it in the following way. First, the Club deals with HR issues on a professional level. Financial employees already address to our Club to obtain references. Secondly, the Club members can start working jointly with other members of RCFD using their personal relations. Thirdly, the Club being a legal entity can provide its members with written references. Fourthly, the Club is a place for networking with colleagues. Fifthly, membership with the Club can help to enhance the reputation and raise the profile of a financial director. Sixthly, the Club shall promote the best of its members to the key positions in government organizations or major companies.
What events are you planning to organize?
We are planning to organize a lot of events of the following three categories: business, training and social.
The first category comprises business breakfasts, conferences, business meeting, company presentations, events related to the promotion of business projects, auctions and other events directly related to business and work.
The second category comprises conferences, forums and symposiums devoted to the development of the theory and practice of financial management. We are planning to invite prominent researches in financial area, organize round tables and discussions of topical problems of the economy. In most cases as a result of such events we shall issue scientific and research publications.
The third category comprises social events where the Club members will have possibility to rest after work and share their interests at parties, dinners and conventions of collectors. The main thing is to network with high-ranking officials in an informal and friendly atmosphere.
In addition the Club organizes the All-Russian Conference of Financial Directors from time to time but not less than once every three year. The meeting will bring together the financial directors of Russian companies. The participants discuss the results of financial work, investments climate, business cooperation, large scale financial projects and well as the problems arising in the course of implementation of business projects and financial management, the means of eliminating such problems, improvement of cooperation and exchange their experience and opinion.
How are you planning to develop the activities of the Club?
The Club is developing as a result of the activities of its founders, management and members as well as any external proposals. However, we can distinguish a number of main areas which are being constantly developed, i.e. international relationships, financial education, lobbying the interests of the professional community, regional representation, business projects and creation of an information platform for communication of financial managers, assisting financial employees in building their carriers, establishment of the International Financial Centre, expert and appraisal activities and scientific research.
For example, we carry out scientific research of banking, investment management, business analysis, economics of enterprise and others. The same work is done in the area of business projects and expert activities.
What is your opinion on the establishment of the International Financial Centre in Moscow?
I would like to note that turning Moscow to the International Financial Centre is a task stated in the Articles of Association of the Club. In our opinion it is promising and may be implemented. The necessity to create an international financial centre in Russian was identified already in 2008, when it became evident that the development of the national stock market could not satisfy the needs of the national economy. The country needs investments and clients. This can be achieved through the use of the Russian Club of Financial Directors and its overseas partners. Thus we are planning to establish a global network of connections. The work has already been started.
To make the Russian economy competitive it is necessary to balance its development using innovative technologies of cash flows management. To accomplish this it is necessary to create a modern, competitive and innovation focused financial infrastructure capable to compete with the International Financial Centres in London and New York. The Russian International Financial Centre may become an efficient platform which will attract capital and investment and connect the markets and companies of many countries. Due to a large number of participants and involvement in international financial flows the International Financial Centre will address the issue of attraction and placement of capital in Russia.
In what way the Club is planning to build relations with the government?
We are planning to cooperate with the government in a number of areas.
First, the Club shall inform the government on the main problems and prospects of development of the financial sector of Russia. The experts shall prepare reports and researches of markets and financial system on a regular basis. Based on such information RCFD shall form proposals to improve the economy of Russia.
Secondly, we are planning to protect and promote the interests of the Club members with the legislative and executive bodies, form proposals and regularly meet with the officials. As a result we’ll elaborate a stable system of cooperation of the Club members, representatives of financial profession and the government including the Administration of the President of the Bank of Russia, Ministry of Finance, and Federal Tax Services, Account Chamber and the Federal Antimonopoly Service and others
Thirdly, the Club members consist in expert and public councils under the State Duma, Federal Council, ministries and departments : Expert Council of the Commission for State Property and Land of the Moscow City Duma; Council under the State Duma Committee on Energy, Expert Council of the State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes; Council on Banking and Audit Legislation under the State Duma Committee on Financial Market, Expert council on investments of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development.
Fourthly, we shall promote the best of members of RCFD to the key positions of state and municipal and legislative bodies, state-financed organizations.
What professional services are you planning to offer on the market?
Russian Club of Financial Directors is entitled to carry out its commercial activities only within the framework of its Articles of Association. However, anything we undertake we do to the benefit of the profession. Any projects undertaken by the RCFD are implemented by high level professionals.
Develop and support the implementation of commercial and industrial projects as well as the projects aimed at economic development of territories and businesses. We engage the best experts, financial employees and foreign specialists.
We have experience and expertise in comprehensive financial and audit reviews of businesses, making financial models, securities and assets management. Besides, the Club can also organize bids, tenders and auctions.
The Club elaborates ratings of companies, holds opinion polls, and makes expert analysis and forecasts. The Club members carry out fundamental research work on the financial theory and practice.
Russian Club of Financial Directors already has a significant number of clients.