Since the fall of the iron curtain, a number of Georgia firms have succeeded in Russia under both difficult economic and political conditions, according to Zeb Bradford III, who has returned to Atlanta after spending five years in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Mr. Bradford, 35, a native of Georgia, was hired by a large Russian oil and metals exporter after spending five years in London with the investment bank, S.G. Warburg and Co., Ltd.
He currently is planning to settle in Atlanta and is interviewing with a number of banking, investment and property firms which either are working with Europeans in the U.S. or have projects or investments in Europe.
He told GlobalFax during an interview that he was attracted to the Russian firm by a sense of adventure and the opportunity to gain first-hand experience working during this historic period.
After initially working for the exporting firm, he joined a European joint venture in St. Petersburg which channeled investments into the Russian property market and funded imports of foodstuffs.
Meanwhile, he witnessed the success of several Georgia firms which invested in Russia and didn’t give up during what he called “tough and turbulent years.”
He cited Coca-Cola, which after only five years of operations overtook Pepsico which had a local monopoly for more than 20 years, and the poultry and foodstuffs trading firm, AJC International, which services the Russian market through a Netherlands-based distribution and sales office.
He also said that in the property market, Atlanta-based Western Group, part of ONCOR International, ranks as one of Russia’s leading property brokers with offices in Moscow and Kiev, while Haskell International Brokerage also has been very active with a strong brokerage arm in Moscow and St. Petersburg, in addition to seven completed developments in Moscow.
Scientific-Atlanta, UPS and Holiday Inn Worldwide, which recently signed their first hotel contract in Moscow, also have established operations in Russia, he said.
For more information about other Russian industries and U.S. firms and investment funds operating in Russia, Mr. Bradford may be reached at (404) 364-5476.