14 April 2021
EM strengthens senior leadership team
  • Tom Blackwell, co-founder and current CEO of EM, takes newly created position as Chairman of the Management Board, focusing in particular on senior client relationships and strategic initiatives.
  • Anna Vasilenko, former Managing Director, Key Clients & Issuer Relations at Moscow Exchange, joins EM as CEO with a remit focusing on business development and sustainable growth.
  • Tom and Anna will lead EM’s eight-strong senior management team responsible for strategy execution.

EM, the leading strategic communications and investor relations consultancy for clients in Russia, China and other emerging markets, today announces the strengthening of its senior leadership team with the appointment of Anna Vasilenko as CEO.

The agency today also names the expanded Leadership Team responsible for execution of EM’s strategy. The team comprises eight senior professionals with decades of combined experience and deep expertise across EM’s core geographies and areas of strategic focus.

These moves will enable EM to broaden and deepen its client offering and capitalise on emerging opportunities and market trends amid the post-COVID economic recovery. EM aims to further strengthen its leadership in transaction communications and strategic counsel for Boards of Directors, CEOs and principals on strategic, crisis and change communications.

Tom Blackwell, co-founder and Chairman of EM, said:

“The changes we are announcing today represent the next step in the evolution of EM as we enter a new phase of growth. We have built a market-leading offering and an exceptional team of professionals at all levels of the business. Today we see more opportunities in the market than ever before – from ESG to digitalisation as well as the introduction of new technologies in our own industry. With Anna as CEO we substantially expand and reinforce EM’s senior leadership capacity, positioning us perfectly to capture these opportunities. I have never been more excited about the future of EM, and look forward to working alongside Anna and the team to ensure EM continues leading the way for many years to come.”

Anna Vasilenko, incoming CEO of EM, said:

“EM is one of the standout success stories in the Russian market, so when Tom and the team approached me I was excited by the opportunity to continue working with top Russian corporates, including many I have known and advised for a number of years already. I’m delighted to be joining EM at such an important point in the agency’s development, and look forward to working with Tom and the rest of the management team to take EM to the next level.”

In addition to Tom Blackwell and Anna Vasilenko, the Leadership Team of EM comprises:

  • Denis Denisov, Partner, Head of Russia/CIS
  • Anna Glikman, Partner, Head of Asia and Private Clients
  • Tom Kiehn, Partner, co-founder, Head of North America and Global Capital Markets
  • Maria Levitov, Partner, Global Head of Media
  • Peter Morley, Partner, Head of Europe
  • Sam VanDerlip, Partner, co-founder, Head of UK and Global IR

Since the start of 2020 EM has further strengthened its market leadership, supporting almost all key transactions as issuers from the Russia/CIS region have tapped global capital markets for more than USD 10 billion in equity and convertible capital, including the ground-breaking IPOs of Fix Price (LSE) and Ozon.ru (NASDAQ) and the SPOs of Yandex, Aeroflot and M.Video, as well as number of major M&A deals. EM’s best-in-class ESG practice has supported Russian corporates in developing best-practice sustainability communications, and the agency has also pioneered helping issuers tap into the fast-growing Russian retail investor base.

The market for strategic and financial communications in Russia/CIS is currently worth USD 100-200 million, based on EM’s estimates, and could reach USD 1 billion within five years at current forecast annual growth rates of 20%-30%, driven by the rapid emergence of the new economy across the region.

About Anna Vasilenko

As head of Moscow Exchange’s Primary Markets team since 2013, Anna was responsible for attracting equity and bond issuance from Russian corporates, helping to drive the Exchange’s development as a leading listing and trading venue for Russian equities. As well as overseeing the execution of numerous market development and client service initiatives, she also advised CEOs and owners of major businesses on a number of landmark transactions.

Before joining Moscow Exchange, Anna worked for a number of years at investment banks including Credit Suisse and Renaissance Capital, specialising in structuring large transactions for Russian corporates and HNW clients, and at LUKOIL supporting IR and capital markets activity. Anna is a graduate of Moscow State University’s economics faculty and holds an executive MBA from Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO. She holds a certificate in company directorship from the UK Institute of Directors.