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Billion-pound dispute over ownership of LSE-listed Russian company launches in UK court, as Judge rules that oligarch was correctly served legal papers, prepared by Fieldfisher LLP, in London street

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A Russian businessman who co-founded PhosAgro is suing the deputy chairman of the London-listed chemicals giant for what he claims is his rightful share of the business, a stake worth £1 billion at todays market value.

The case pits Alexander Gorbachev “ himself a former senior executive at PhosAgro – against his former friend and business partner Andrei Guriev, now one of Russias highest-profile billionaire oligarchs.

Gorbachev, who chaired PhosAgro between 2000 and 2004, claims Guriev held his shares in trust for him. It is alleged that Guriev later reneged on this agreement and unlawfully took possession of Gorbachevs 24.75% stake in PhosAgro.

In a ruling issued yesterday, His Honour Judge Pearce ruled that proceedings had been served on Guriev, paving the way for a full trial to be heard in the English High Court in 2020-21.

The lawsuit could also have far-reaching implications for the interests of shareholders in PhosAgro. The company, which floated in 2011, is listed on the Moscow Stock Exchange with a secondary listing in London. Guriev is still PhosAgros biggest shareholder (via family members and other entities) but other investors include leading western institutions and pension funds.

Headquartered in Moscow, the company is Europes largest supplier of phosphate-based fertilizers and a major exporter to the west. Guriev is currently PhosAgros deputy chairman, while his son Andrei Jnr is the companys CEO.

Guriev was served with legal papers on Berkeley Street, Mayfair, in October 2018. In court in July 2019, his lawyers argued that the papers were not served properly, and that accordingly the action should not proceed in the UK. A video of the court papers being served in a busy London street “ with men who appear to be Gurievs bodyguards physically shielding him from the paperwork “ was examined as part of the proceedings. Judge Pearce has now ruled that the proceedings were properly served, and that the case can proceed.

The judge noted that in various important respects the video contradicted the account of events that Guriev and his entourage had given in their initial witness statements “ before they became aware the Berkeley Street incident had been filmed. This, the judge remarked, undermined the strength of their evidence.

Judge Pearce added: Without having heard cross examination of these witnesses, I cannot safely conclude that all or any of them are lying, though I have a strong suspicion this is so. He also remarked in his judgment that it is at least arguable that Mr Guriev has not told the truth.

Judge Pearces ruling and the video of the Berkeley Street incident can be viewed at www.alexander-gorbachev.info.

Gorbachev is represented by City of London law firm Fieldfisher, led by partners Francesca Titus and Andrew Lafferty, and Paul Lowenstein QC.

[email protected]

Conal Walsh / Mark Leftly: +44 (0)207 250 1446

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Asana Named One of the 2020 Best Workplaces for Parents by Great Place to Work® and Fortune

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Great Place to Work has honored leading work management platform Asana, Inc. (NYSE: ASAN), as one of the Best Workplaces for Parents in the U.S. In its ranking, Asana was recognized for its industry leading approach to providing a best in class experience for working parents and caregivers, and creating a people-first culture supporting all employees in light of the difficult challenges theyve faced this year.

The recognition is the latest industry accolade for Asana as a leading workplace in 2020. Earlier this year, Great Place to Work and Fortune awarded Asana the #2 Best Small & Medium Workplace; #8 Best Workplace for Women; #1 Best Small & Medium Workplace in the Bay Area; #1 Best Workplace for Millennials; #1 Workplace in Technology; and #7 Best Small Workplace in Ireland. In May, Asana was recognized as one of Inc.s Best Workplaces for the third year in a row.

We’re honored to be recognized as one of the best workplaces for working parents, said Anna Binder, Head of People, Asana. This award is particularly significant as the rhythm and pace of our workand what constitutes a productive dayhas changed. In fact, according to our Anatomy of Work: Remote Teams study, nearly 60% of global employees are working different hours now than before. The data also revealed 79% of caregivers have school-age children learning at home, while managing their work. While the award goes to Asana, the credit goes to the growing community of parents and caregivers, who continue to come together to foster dialogue and bring programs to life that make our company a place where everyone can thrive.

Asana used the past year to strengthen its community of parents and caregivers, finding new ways to help them feel connected and supported no matter where they are. Starting with manager training on how to lead inclusively and have conversations about being a working parent, Asana built a shared understanding across the company about the needs of caregivers in 2020. To allow parents time to connect with their children and the rest of the caregiving community during the work day, Asana offers Asana Family Break, bringing in outside storytellers and magicians to host virtual, kid-oriented sessions.

Great Place to Work determined the Best Workplaces for Parents„¢ by gathering and analyzing confidential employee experience feedback representing 4.8 million U.S. employees across more than 20 industries. Employees reported their workplace experience using the industry-leading Trust Index survey. The survey is proven to quantify over 75 metrics of company culture, including levels of trust, pride, management effectiveness, innovation, diversity and equity.

Great Place to Works analysis also focused on how parents workplace experiences compare to those of their non-parent colleagues and determining whether their job level, race/ethnicity or any other personal characteristic changed the level of support they received as a working parent. Finally, they reviewed each companys parental leave, adoption, flexible schedule, childcare and dependent health care benefits.

Best workplaces like Asana have built dynamic, flexible, and transparent workplaces built on trust, said Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. This gives companies on this list a powerful opportunity not just to do well for their people, but also to do well for their businesses.

About Asana

Asana helps teams orchestrate their work, from small projects to strategic initiatives. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Asana has more than 82,000 paying organizations and millions of free organizations across 190 countries. Global customers such as Allbirds, Sephora, Sky, Spotify, Viessmann, and Woolworths rely on Asana to manage everything from company objectives to digital transformation to product launches and marketing campaigns. For more information, visit www.asana.com.

About the Best Workplaces for ParentsTM

Great Place to Work based its ranking on a data-driven methodology applied to confidential Trust Index„¢ survey responses representing over 9,000,000 employees working at Great Place to Work-CertifiedTM organizations for Parents industry. To learn more about Great Place to Work Certification and recognition on Best Workplaces lists published with Fortune, visit greatplacetowork.com.

About Great Place to Work

Great Place to Work is the global authority on workplace culture. Since 1992, they have surveyed more than 100 million employees around the world and used those deep insights to define what makes a great workplace: trust. Great Place to Work helps organizations quantify their culture and produce better business results by creating a high-trust work experience for all employees. Emprising, their culture management platform, empowers leaders with the surveys, real-time reporting, and insights they need to make data-driven people decisions. Their unparalleled benchmark data is used to recognize Great Place to Work-Certified„¢ companies and the Best Workplaces„¢ in the US and more than 60 countries, including the 100 Best Companies to Work For and Worlds Best WorkplacesTM list published annually in Fortune. Everything they do is driven by the mission to build a better world by helping every organization become a great place to work For All„¢.

Leah Wiedenmann

[email protected]

+1-415-612-0635

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Sheppard Mullin Adds Tax Partner Soyun Park in New York

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Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is pleased to announce that Soyun Park has joined the firms Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance Team and the Tax, Employee Benefits, and Trusts and Estates practice group as a partner in the New York office. Park joins from Winston & Strawn. She is the 14th partner to join Sheppard Mullin in 2020.

“Weve added some incredibly smart and talented tax attorneys to our team over the past few years as we continue building our transactional practices, said Jon Newby, vice chairman of Sheppard Mullin. “Soyun is a first-class attorney with a wealth of knowledge and experience that makes her a valuable addition to our Energy Team and Tax practice group. Were thrilled shes joined us.”

Amy L. Tranckino, leader of the firms Tax, Employee Benefits, and Trusts and Estates practice, added, “Soyun will bring her transactional and structuring skills to clients in the renewable energy sector, many of whom have parent companies overseas and multiple overseas investments. Her experience also dovetails with our existing international tax capabilities and our robust Korea practice. Her ability to help clients navigate tax implications on a wide range of issues and her international tax planning experience will be of great benefit to our cross-border clients.”

Park concentrates her practice on international tax planning and transactional matters. She advises domestic and multinational clients in connection with their structural and transactional tax planning, including advice concerning domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, financings, dispositions, restructurings, joint ventures, financial products, securities offerings, and other major transactions. At Sheppard Mullin, Soyun will focus her efforts on renewable energy transactions, international tax planning, and expanding the firms Korea practice. Park earned her B.S. from Columbia University, her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and her LL.M. from New York University School of Law.

About Sheppard Mullins Tax, Employee Benefits, and Trusts and Estates Practice

Sheppard Mullin’s tax attorneys provide sophisticated advice in all areas of corporate, partnership, real estate, renewable energy, tax credit transactions, and international taxation; employee benefits; executive compensation; private equity and hedge fund formation and operation; debt and equity financing and derivative and hybrid securities; tax-exempt organizations; and estate planning and wealth transfer. Based on our understanding of evolving and complex tax law, we are often able to design sophisticated transactions that are advantageous for our clients.

About Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard Mullin is a full-service Global 100 firm with more than 900 attorneys in 15 offices located in the United States, Europe and Asia. Since 1927, industry-leading companies have turned to Sheppard Mullin to handle corporate and technology matters, high-stakes litigation and complex financial transactions. In the U.S., the firm’s clients include almost half of the Fortune 100. For more information, please visit www.sheppardmullin.com.

KARA EYER

(312) 499-0533

[email protected]

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of BTG Pactual Resseguradora S.A.

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AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of bbb of BTG Pactual Resseguradora S.A. (BTG Re) (Brazil). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect BTG Res balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

BTG Re is a local reinsurer in Brazil, operating predominately in the surety segment, and more recently, in the agricultural segment. The companys parent, Banco BTG Pactual S.A. (BTG Pactual), provided capital support in the past, and continues to provide operational support and risk management capabilities.

Due to the decrease in interest rates in Brazil, BTG Re has increased the allocation of its investment portfolio to non-rated securities, which ultimately led to a drop in its Bests Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). While AM Best acknowledges that BTG Res balance sheet strength assessment is in the very strong range, a downward revision from the assessment of strongest in the previous year, its investment allocations have the potential to weaken BTG Res BCAR scores further, subsequently impacting the ratings. Mitigating factors are the parental support that could come in the form of a quick buy-back of these securities if needed, and the regulatory limits restricting investments in less liquid and riskier assets in the portfolio portion that backs up loss reserves.

Also reflected in the ratings of BTG Re is the impact of the credit profile of BTG Pactual and the challenging but slowly improving macroeconomic environment in Brazil. The global pandemic stalled the economic recovery, but new signs of a potential recovery are emerging. BTG Pactual has shown consistent improvements in its results and credit strength, which can be seen in its Basel capital adequacy ratio; however, its ratings are limited by the Brazilian sovereign rating.

BTG Re maintains solid stand-alone attributes in terms of operating performance, including an extremely low loss ratio, negative expense ratio, and very strong risk-adjusted capitalization. BTG Re has been able to produce positive overall earnings since inception, driven by underwriting results and investment income. BTG Re also benefits from a solid retrocession program that mitigates its underwriting exposures; reinsurance retention has been low. Credit analysis of BTG Re benefits from BTG Pactuals expertise, stemming from its long track record with a portfolio of large companies.

Moreover, Brazils (re)insurance market is highly competitive with domestic and global reinsurers continuously accessing the market. BTG Re essentially acts as a captive reinsurer for its sister company, Too Seguros S.A. (formerly known as Pan Seguros S.A.), which is 51% owned by BTG Pactual, and develops and expands its product offerings in the local markets, as well as in other Latin America countries, each with their own market characteristics. In Brazil, the surety market continues to expand with growth anchored in the judicial bond segment, with the long-term perspective of performance bonds bringing incremental demand from much-needed infrastructure projects. More recently, Too Seguros S.A. started underwriting in the agricultural line of business, ceding it to BTG Re, which in turn cedes this business to market players.

AM Best continues to monitor BTG Res balance sheet strengthparticularly the investment portfoliooperating performance, risk-adjusted capitalization and the execution of its product and geographic expansion, along with the credit profile of its parent.

The key rating driver that could lead to a positive rating action for BTG Re is the continued improvement of the credit profile of BTG Pactual, supported by a stronger corporate governance framework in the group. Factors that could negatively impact its ratings are the deterioration of its parents credit profile or liquidity position, or a decline in the risk-adjusted capitalization (e.g., increased exposure to non-rated securities).

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Bests website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Bests Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Bests Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Bests Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media – Proper Use of Bests Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright 2020 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Guilherme Monteiro Simoes

Senior Financial Analyst

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5301

[email protected]

Christopher Sharkey

Manager, Public Relations

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

[email protected]

Mariza Costa

Associate Director

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5154

[email protected]

Jim Peavy

Director, Communications

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644

[email protected]

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Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.
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