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Vladimir  Zaluzhsky

  • Programme: Strategic Investment Management
  • Nationality: Russian
  • Job Post-programme: Head Investor Relations, Severstal Group

Professional background:

Vladimir has held various communication positions at Scandinavian private equity fund Mint Capital, steel and mining company Mechel, and communications agencies Delovaya Liga and ETC Partners. He graduated from both the Moscow State Linguistic University and the Moscow Institute of Economics and Finance.

​Firm foundations

My key motivation for taking the Strategic Investment Management (SIM) programme was to gain a deeper, more practical knowledge of portfolio investing. I also wanted to reinforce and extend my existing finance knowledge. Even though I had already been involved in investor relations for about 10 years, my functional understanding of investment management had been gained only through communications roles. I wanted to gain a firmer understanding of the principles and frameworks of investment management in addition to future trends.

In Russia, people come to investor relations from a number of very different backgrounds. My industry is still ‘young’ in global terms and professional training programmes remain limited. London Business School’s global reputation was extremely compelling, as was the intensive five-day structure of the programme. It offered me an in-depth insight into current theory and enabled me to engage with other industry professionals in a dedicated academic environment.

Clear and accessible content

The programme is extremely well structured and the content is cutting-edge. Skilled delivery also ensured it was clear and accessible. Faculty Stephen Schaefer and Narayan Naik were excellent, especially in the way they illustrated difficult financial topics with case studies, such as a review of the Harvard Management Company business case. It is definitely a technical programme and the short format means there is a lot of material to get through, but everything moved smoothly from session to session. After the first day, I found I adapted to this intensity very quickly. 

Taking part in the fund management simulation, in small groups, and looking after a corporate pension fund was particularly fascinating. After comparing each group in terms of achieved investment returns and portfolio allocation, we discussed the groups’ different strategies against the average market approach. Engaging with a wide range of opinions and strategies in this way enabled me to look at the bigger picture of portfolio investing. By the end of the week I felt I had stepped into the shoes of an investment manager and understood the requirements of the role at a much deeper level.

A broader perspective

I learned a great deal from my fellow classmates. Interactions with a Brazilian colleague were particularly useful because the Russian and Brazilian economies share very similar traits. It was also the perfect opportunity to practice my Portuguese! I’ve taken away a more comprehensive overview of my profession and a broader perspective on investment strategies. Back at Severstal, there has also been a marked improvement in my relationship with our strategy team. My newly acquired knowledge has made communication more efficient and we understand each other’s objectives better.

The programme gave me a real confidence boost. I’m now more comfortable voicing my opinions, and better able to represent both the company and my industry when speaking at professional events. It is an ideal programme for anyone who deals with the capital markets and anyone who, like me, is looking for inspiration for the next step in their career. Overall, it was a highly valuable and inspiring experience. It has even motivated me into continuing my study; I’m currently studying for the CMA international finance exams.