Former LSE Boss Set to Join Board of Fertiliser Group From Russia

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Photo via Bloomberg

The former boss of the London Stock Exchange, , is set to join the board of a fertiliser company that is from Russia, in his first appointment eversince his departure from the LSE.

PhosAgro is an exporter of fertiliser from five sites that are located in the west of Russia to approximately 100 countries across the globe. The domestic market in Russia remains to be its biggest. The company trades in Moscow with a market capitalisation amounting to 294bn ruble (£3.5bn). Its global depositary receipts are traded in London.

With stocks that are linked in Russia experiencing pressure after the announcement of new  sanctions from the United States and tension heightening between Vladimir Putin and the West, PhosAgro is trying to overcome the gloomy sentiment towards Russia.

Rolet admitted that the political backdrop is “not so supportive.” However he stated: “Investors I speak to around world have been looking at opportunities to invest in Russia, which has a huge internal market with potential for development, particularly in the agricultural business – it is becoming one of largest producers and exporters of cereals, for example.”

The former boss of the LSE praised the commitment of PhosAgro to corporate governance and its concentration on “greener standards for agriculture”.

He said: “It really believes in the sustainability of agriculture in the long run.

“These are worthy goals.”

The chief executive of PhosAgro, Andrey Guryev, said that the “invaluable capital markets experience” of Rolet and his “exceptional knowledge of best practices in corporate governance” would make the stand company in a good stead. In May, he is set to be nominated at its AGM.

PhosAgro also declared the nomination of the former director general of Unesco, Irina Bokova, as a second independent director as it attempts to beef up its board. Other directors include Jim Rogers, a veteran investor and co-founder of the Quantum Fund, who made a bullish case for investing in Russia recently.

The Guryev family remains to be the largest shareholder with a 48.48 percent stake held through various vehicles.

Last November, Rolet left the LSE following a highly regarded eight-year tenure during which he helped improve the value of the exchange to approximately £13bn. However, the timing and announcement of his departure incited the fury of an activist investor who claimed that Rolet was being ousted by the chairman against his will.

Since then, Rolet, who owns a winery in Provence, has been on gardening leave.