How Western firms quietly enabled Russian oligarchs

By | March 9, 2022

The New York Times reports:

Behind a set of imposing metal doors in an easy-to-miss office building in a New York City suburb, a small team manages billions of dollars for a Russian oligarch.

For years, a group of wealthy Russians have used Concord Management LLC, a financial-advisory company in Tarrytown, N.Y., to secretly invest money in large U.S. hedge funds and private equity firms, according to people familiar with the matter.

A web of offshore shell companies makes it hard to know for sure whose money Concord manages. But several of the people said the bulk of the funds belong to Roman Abramovich, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

Concord is part of a constellation of American and European advisers — including some of the world’s largest law firms — that have long helped Russian oligarchs navigate the Western financial, legal, political and media landscapes.

Now, with U.S. and European sanctions targeting those close to Mr. Putin, firms are wrestling with what to do with these lucrative but controversial clients.

Many are ditching them. Some appear to be sticking with them. Others won’t say what they are doing.

In the meantime, lawyers and investment advisers are coming under intense scrutiny for work that weeks earlier was occurring almost entirely below the public radar. [Continue reading…]

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