Atlantans now have access to what is widely recognized as the largest, most up-to-date and high-level database on companies operating in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Baltic States through the local office of American Information Technology (AIT International).

The AIT Database can provide data for almost all business interests, and is particularly comprehenbanks and insurance wholesalers.

The database is set up on the SIC international code system and can be defined on a territorial basis, offering information for: market studies, due diligence, credit evaluations, verification of licenses and authorities; joint stock information and joint venture registration; logistical assistance and analysis and product and customer sourcing.

AIT International also has introduced a comprehensive customs and tariffs program that includes information on specific tax liability issues, and it maintains updates on 60,000 companies in CIS and Baltic countries.

AIT International is an outgrowth of the American International Trading Company, Inc. (AITC), founded in 1989 by Richard Caldwell, who moved to Moscow following his retirement in his late 30s after successful careers in sales of oil field and mining equipment and ownership of a computer retail chain.

AITC  recently signed agreements with the Radison/Slavajanskaya Hotel in Moscow and the Marco Polo Hotel in St. Petersburg to market information, products and services within their respective business centers.  These agreements enable AITC to provide support for visiting executives as well as assist companies setting up businesses.

Mr. Caldwell currently is the only non-Russian director of the Russian Trade-Financial Union, which is chaired by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. 

The information system developed for the company’s own use was incorporated in 1991 as AIT Information Systems (AITIS).  Headquartered in Moscow, AITIS is managed by Robert Watters, who has more than 20 years of senior level experience in foreign and defense policy, specializing in U.S.-Soviet/Russian relations.  His staff now includes individuals with experience in the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations; Armed Forces of the Russian Federation; Intourist and other business and intelligence organizations.

 AITC is represented in the Americas by Percy C. Helmer, Jr. from his Atlanta office. Among other business activities, Mr. Helmer is a co-founder of Trac Companies, an import/export firm of consumer products, and president of Helmer Realty Associates, Inc., a family owned real estate entity in Atlanta since 1945.

Mr. Helmer is also a principal in Hermes Associates, a Russian trading partnership since 1991 through which he met Mr. Caldwell. Their friendship further developed when they both attended a Russian study program at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Besides Messrs. Caldwell, Watters, and Helmer, AIT International’s board of directors include Bob Von Hartz, chairman, and Sam Ayoub, vice chairman.  Mr. Von Hartz recently retired from the Bechtel group of companies, and Mr. Ayoub is chairman and president of Seaboard Management Corp., an investment and management firm in Atlanta.   Jay Block of the Atlanta law firm, Fine and Block, is the company’s attorney.

For more information, Mr. Helmer may be reached by calling (404) 320-6900; fax (404) 320-7611.