SUBSTITUTES' BENCH, Anastasia Tsybina
Kommersant "Top managers of the year" supplement (St. Petersburg), December 16, 2015
Projecting the practice of presidential reserve to business, director of corporate programs of Stockholm School of Economics in Russia presumes that it contradicts to the mere notion of "recruitment" that is in effect in business. Popov says, "Practice of recruitment is contest selection for a vacant post the idea of which is choice of the best candidates most suitable for the employer according to the set of competences. Inclusion into the reserve is perceived as a kind of privilege for those who is included into it, a priori as a kind of advantage.
Reserve of managerial staff patronized by the President of Russia (list of state officials and businessmen whose professional and moral qualities do not cause any doubts of the leader of the state) has existed for seven years but little is known about it. BG decided to check to which extent the St. Petersburg cohort was a working tool in the matters of renovation of political elite of the federal center.
The first composition of the reserve of managerial staff patronized by the President of Russia appeared in February of 2009 during the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev. Representatives of the Presidential Administration, government members, heads of the federal state power bodies and top-ranking officials of subjects of the Russian Federation had a right to recommend candidates. So the list includes mostly their subordinates, as well as managers of commercial and nonprofit organizations.
The reserve is periodically updated but interim corrected lists do not always appear in open access. The latest published version of the presidential reserve was composed in December of 2014 when the new composition was already approved by President Vladimir Putin.
The "first hundred" of 2014 contained 144 names in reality and only 138 of them remained now. There are deputy presidential representative in the Northwestern Federal District Andrei Travnikov who has started career in Vologda Region and head of administration of Kingisepp Municipal District Victor Geshele in the current reserve. Victor Yevtukhov, incumbent state secretary and deputy minister of industry and trade, was in the reserve composed in 2014 but in the current version published at the site of the Kremlin his name was absent. Nonetheless, Yevtukhov started career in business and afterwards in policy in St. Petersburg. After experience of work on positions of commercial and financial directors in several companies he became member of several convocations of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg after which Valentina Matvienko who was governor of St. Petersburg then appointed him as member of the Federal Assembly – representative of the government of St. Petersburg. After movement of Matvienko to the Federation Council, Yevtukhov moved to Moscow too and was appointed as deputy minister of justice and afterwards deputy minister of industry and trade. Thus, in the "first hundred" St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region are represented now actually by one candidate each.
A list of the persons included into the reserve of managerial staff outside of the "first hundred" was also published in February of 2014 with the posts of that time (here and further posts are indicated like in the reserve). These are about 500 names of which 21 persons are this way or the other related to St. Petersburg or Northwestern region as a whole (in 2009 composition of the reserve was also broadened to 1,000 names and only the first half of the chosen thousand was published).
For example, incumbent Deputy Transport Minister Nikolai Asaul, born in St. Petersburg, spent about ten years in St. Petersburg administration and grew from position of deputy director of the directorate for work with big and foreign investors of state institution center for work with credits of banks to senior deputy chair of the committee for investments and strategic projects and afterwards he became chair of the committee for transport transit policy. Asaul made his career also in the team of Valentina Matvienko.
Together with him the government of St. Petersburg is represented in the reserve by Marina Yankina, incumbent deputy chair of the property relations committee who has formerly had a similar position in the committee for management of municipal property before its merger with the committee for land resources and land management in spring of 2015.
The list includes former chair of the committee for development of transport infrastructure of St. Petersburg (he was dismissed in December of 2013) Dmitry Burenin. Previously, he was chair of the committee of financial control of St. Petersburg and member of the government of the city.
Interestingly, the reserve also includes incumbent chair of this committee Alexander Zhukov, former head of the territorial division of the Federal Financial Supervision Agency in St. Petersburg.
Among the reservists is also Sergei Grishin, former chair of the committee for youth policy and interaction with public organizations of St. Petersburg who has changed the post of state officials for the post of deputy rector of St. Petersburg state university of services and economics.
According to Andrei Mikhailov, chair of the committee of state service and staff policy of St. Petersburg, candidates from St. Petersburg were promoted according to inquiries of the Administration of the President of Russia and they were chosen predominantly from the persons included into the regional reserve of managerial staff (separate list formed in the administration of St. Petersburg — BG). Representatives of the committee add that there is no information about the updated list of the presidential reserve.
Parliament member minimum
To the candidates from St. Petersburg it is possible to conventionally attribute director of a department of the staff of presidential representative in the Northwestern Federal District Yaroslav Loginov and chief producer of the directorate of public political broadcasting of television channel St. Petersburg Nadezhda Orlova.
In the top 500 legislative power branch of St. Petersburg is represented by member of the Legislative Assembly Alexei Kovalev and legislative power branch of Leningrad Region is represented by member of the regional parliament Dmity Vorovskikh. Reservists Duma member Oleg Nilov and head of the administration of Nevsky District of St. Petersburg Konstantin Serov also started their careers as members of the Legislative Assembly of the city and chair of the election commission of St. Petersburg Alexei Puchnin came to this post from a similar post in Tambov Region.
Three names on the list are associated with Leningrad Region. These are governor of the region Alexander Drozdenko, deputy governor and chair of the committee for agricultural and fish sectors Sergei Yakhnyuk and deputy chair of the government of Leningrad Region for economy and investments Dmitry Yalov. Among the reservists is also Oleg Lyapustin, former deputy director of Ust-Luga Company for strategy and development who has previously worked in St. Petersburg as senior deputy chair of the municipal property management committee.
Only five people turned out to be in the category "representatives of business." These are advisor to the Chair of the Board of Directors of Ulst-Luga Company for financial and investment policy Natalia Belyakova (dismissed in February of 2013), General Director of Biokad Dmitry Morozov, General Director of Polimetall Vitaly Nesis, director for information technologies of Ilim Group Irina Pirogova, as well as director of the department of regional policy of Gazprom Gazoraspredelenie Roman Baluev.
All reservists polled by BG declined to comment.
According to Andrei Ivanov, docent of the chair of state and municipal administration of the graduate school of management of St. Petersburg University, the share of representatives of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region in the section of representatives of federal and regional power bodies amounts approximately to 6% (19 of 298), the share of representatives of business amounts to 3% (5 of 156), the share of representatives of science and education amounts to 2% (2 of 88). Ivanov adds, "Just compare, in 2015 volume of subsidies from the federal budget for co-financing of expenses on education for St. Petersburg amounted approximately to 11% an together with Leningrad Region it amounted to 14% of the overall expenses on training of managerial staff in the framework of the presidential program. Thus, representation of St. Petersburg could evidently be bigger. In any case, this is possibly associated with the current big-scale representation of St. Petersburg in the federal state power bodies."
If we speak about the "golden hundred," contribution of St. Petersburg into the reserve of 2009 (incidentally, it was formed during the time when Valentina Matvienko was governor of St. Petersburg) was much bigger: thee are four state officials and one representative of business n it.
The list included two representatives of municipal authorities: member of the Legislative Assembly Terenty Meshcheryakov and chair of the committee for investments and strategic projects of the government of St. Petersburg Maxim Sokolov. Climbing of career ladder by these two reservists can be considered quite successful. Thus, having started his work as aide to a Duma member and having worked as member of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, Meshcheryakov was included into the reserve after which he was appointed as the head of Frunzensky District of St. Petersburg and included into the government of the city and afterwards was appointed as the head of administration of Kronshtadsky District.
Sokolov, incumbent transport minister, passed a path from manager of private companies to minister, having worked as an official of the administration of St. Petersburg. Thus, he worked as director of the department of industry and infrastructure of the federal government including work under supervision of Vladimir Putin and after that he was member of the government of St. Petersburg and chair of the municipal committee for economic development, industrial policy and trade and after that as chair of the committee for investments and strategic projects. During his work in administration of St. Petersburg Sokolov was included into the "golden hundred" of the reserve and moved to Moscow to the post of minister soon.
Besides the aforementioned persons, the reserve also included head of the Northwestern interregional directorate of state automotive road supervision of the Transport Ministry Andre Zhukov (the posts are indicated as of December of 2008).
President of information research center Panorama and former author of "Appointments and dismissals" rubric of Kommersant Vladimir Pribylovsky presumed that in the first revision of the list St. Petersburg was represented fairly seriously because the experts who composed it were very much oriented at opinion of governor Valentina Matvienko who was on this post since 2003. The expert says, "Experts tried to guess opinion of the governor, had consultations with state officials from the team of the governor and finally received direct orders from the governor and her subordinates. For example, deputy governor Mikhail Oseevsky has the highest status n the first half a thousand of the reserve. He took the first big steps in his career (exchange and banking one) when Putin was deputy mayor of St. Petersburg (and Igor Sechin was head of the secretariat of Putin). A month later, Oseevsky was really promoted: in June of 2010 he became the head of the administration of the governor and in January of 2012 he was appointed as deputy economic development minister, which could be considered a horizontal staff movement. Pribylovsky says, "Now he is deputy of president – CEO of VTB bank Andrei Kostin. This means that his influence on economy and policy will remain under the new-old president."
The top 500 of the reserve of 2009 also included the following candidates from St. Petersburg: Federation Council member Andrei Molchanov, Duma member Anton Sikharulidze, head of Just Russia faction in the Legislative Assembly Oleg Nilov, General Director of Tranzas Andre Belentyev, General Director of Polimetall Vitaly Nesis, Chair of the Northwestern Bank of Sberbank Alexei Loginov, Senior Vice President and director of the HR department of VTB Marina Oleshek etc. Overall, the top 500 after deduction of the first hundred included 20 people from St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region, 19 of them being from the city (almost the same quantity as in the list of 2014).
There were also representatives of neighboring regions in the reserve, for instance, governors of Pskov Region Andrei Turchak and Komi Republic Vyacheslav Gaizer. At that moment Turchak was deputy chair of the commission for youth affairs and tourism of the Federation Council. Being a son of head of the St. Petersburg union of industrialists and entrepreneurs Anatoly Turchak, Andrei started his career in St. Petersburg at enterprises of Leninets holding and in the holding headed by his father. He started political career from the Youth Guard of One Russia. Since 2014, he has been governor of Pskov Region.
Vyacheslav Gaizer was deputy head of Republic Komi – finance minister of the government of the republic (also former finance minister of Russia) at that moment. In September of 2015, Gaizer was dismissed by Vladimir Putin from his post due to loss of confidence because of accusation of organization of a criminal community that incurred damage worth about 1.1 billion rubles on the republic.
Pribylovsky said, "Presence on the list, first of all, confirmed belonging to the ruling class and also served as one of the formal grounds for service promotion. With rare exceptions people put on the list at least remain on it, retain the former post or are really promoted by one or two levels. For example, in the first revision of the list we find currently dismissed and arrested for corruption Vyacheslav Gaizer and Sergei Gaplikov who replaced him on the pot of the head of Republic Komi. Along with this, Gaizer was put on the list when he had the post of deputy head of the republic, afterwards he climbed one level and after that he fell out of the reserve and of the higher class in general to position of a person arrested by the Federal Security Service."
Neighboring Leningrad Region was represented in the reserve of 2009 by Rashid Ismagilov who was deputy governor of the government of the region then. He was also president of the regional chamber of commerce and industry for a long time and was known for a conflict with head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia Sergei Katyrin, which finally evidently resulted in dismissal of Ismagilov from the post of the president of the chamber.
There was only one candidate from a company with St. Petersburg registration in the category of "representatives of business." This is General Director and General Designer of research and production association Radar MMS Georgy Antsev.
In 2009, according to results of the first year of existence of the reserve 28 people from the "first hundred" were appointed on higher posts or received posts with a bigger volume of powers. Sergei Dubik, head of the presidential department for matters of state service and staff, reported this at that time.
The reserve of 2009 was composed during the office of governor Matvienko (she governed St. Petersburg for eight years) whereas the list of 2014 was formed already during the office of Georgy Poltavchenko (he stayed on the post of the governor for a 50% shorter period).
Observers pointed out that during the office of Matvienko inclusion into the presidential reserve and real appointment in the governance system of St. Petersburg was associated with "geography" to a bigger extent. It is impossible to say this about the incumbent governor of the city. Pribylovsky presumed, "In the "pre-reform" period Matvienko was closely connected with St. Petersburg and had the post of governor in it. Both persons promoted "their" people first of all but for Matvienko people from among officials of St. Petersburg were "her" (including the Youth Communist League officials of the Soviet period and the relatively new business elite inherited from Sobchak, Putin and partially Yakovlev). For Poltavchenko "his" people are not officials from St. Petersburg but officials and businessmen from Moscow with which he has worked in the Central Federal District (deputy governor Vasily Kichedzhi), allies in the "struggle for the faith" in the center of national glory of Russia, fund of St. Andre The First Called and Russian Athos Society (deputy governor Igor Divinsky)."
According to him, first of all, inclusion into the reserve confirmed preserving of the official in the federal and regional nomenclature deck and non-inclusion hinted at a possibility of falling out of it due to suspected loss of confidence or weakening of important relations.
Projecting the practice of presidential reserve to business, director of corporate programs of Stockholm School of Economics in Russia presumes that it contradicts to the mere notion of "recruitment" that is in effect in business. Popov says, "Practice of recruitment is contest selection for a vacant post the idea of which is choice of the best candidates most suitable for the employer according to the set of competences. Inclusion into the reserve is perceived as a kind of privilege for those who is included into it, a priori as a kind of advantage. Along with this, the mechanism for selection of these candidates is absolutely not understandable, it is non-transparent. The reserve contradicts the mere notion of "competition" characteristic for business and economy as a whole." He considers appearance of such lists to be rather an instrument for formation of public opinion and modeling of behavior, self-presentation of the authorities that try to bring to the public a thought about prestige and value of inclusion into the ranks of reservists.
Representatives of the administration of St. Petersburg confess that initiative for formation of the reserve that belongs to Dmitry Medvedev is not very much supported by the incumbent President and because of this officials of the city do not see any special payback from work on formation of the list of its candidates for the presidential reserve.