Weighing Russia’s Syria Success

With the Database as the foundation for our research and analysis, we are able obtain an unsurpassed level of granularity, insight and authority on the HNWI and wealth management universe in each of the countries and regions we cover. Comprehensive forecasts to 2016. Detailed information on UHNWIs in each major city. Key Highlights As of 2011, there are just over 159,500 HNWIs in Russia, with a combined wealth of US$941 billion. The total number of HNWIs in Russia decreased by 18.1% during the review period (20072011), while HNWI wealth declined by 25%. WealthInsight research shows that over 35% of Russian HNWI wealth was held offshore at the end of 2011. The current wealth management leaders in Russia are UBS and Credit Suisse with local AuM of US$15 billion and US$10 billion respectively. Other prominent foreign players include Pictet and Goldman Sachs. The leading locally based private banks are UFG Invest, Troika Dialog and Third Rome. Moscow is home to the largest portion of Russia’s UHNWIs (64% or 821 UHNWIs). There are also sizable Russian UHNWI populations in St Petersburg (99 UHNWIs), Yekaterinburg (38 UHNWIs), Novosibirsk (31 UHNWIs), Kazan (29 UHNWIs) and Kemerovo (27 UHNWIs).

The savvy of Russias diplomats, Lavrovs in particular but also that of its UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, is undeniable. Contrast Lavrovs virtuoso performance with the erratic role of his American counterpart, John Kerry. During the crisis Kerry, a man with vast experience in foreign policy, personified histrionic excess and inconsistency. At one point he likened the Syrian governments chemical attack to a Munich moment (Assad as Hitler); at another, in an apparent effort to calm mounting opposition in Congress and among Americans more generally, he declared that the planned missile attack would be unbelievably small (a wrist slap for the latter-day Hitler). The contrast between Kerrys prolixity and hyperbole during his Congressional testimony and the measured tones of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey, who were also testifying, accentuated the Secretary of States melodrama while also stoking the expectations of those who were pulling for a strike as well as the anxieties of those who worried that it would suck America into another civil war. Worse, it conveyed the impression that the administration was divided. Then there was the ill-timed outburst of the activist-turned-diplomat, Samantha Power, who, having only recently arrived at the UN as Obamas ambassador, blasted Russia for holding the UN hostage this just as her boss was heading to the G20 summit in St. Petersburg in hopes of bringing President Vladimir Putin around. President Obama didnt shine either. Exactly a year before the August 21 chemical attack, he had warned Assad publicly that Syrias use of chemical weapons would cross a red line that would alter his calculus. Despite evidence that Assad had crossed that line several times, Obama did nothing. Following the August 21 attack, a president who had been leery of getting involved in Syrias conflict seemed to have no choice but to order American warships toward Syria in preparation for a military strike. But once Prime Minister David Cameron failed to convince the House of Commons that Assad had to be hit and Congressional and public opposition to a strike began to register, the president tossed the hot potato to Congress, giving Assad breathing space. That provoked a raft of comments about a White House in disarray.