Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital was a big backer of Moscow’s ambition to become a major emerging-markets financial centre, a bridge between European and Asian capital, a rival to Dubai.
It not only trumpeted the idea, but was one of the first big local firms to take out offices in a sleek glass skyscraper by the Moscow River, surrounded by foundation pits and towers of naked steel girders that were to become Moscow’s Canary Wharf.
Then the financial crisis hit in September 2008, knocking back the city’s ambitions.
Renaissance Capital President Ruben Aganbegyan said, however, that other world financial centres were inadvertently helping Moscow’s case despite its setbacks.
“A lot of people in the world are doing everything they can to help us,” Aganbegyan told the 2009 Reuters Russian Investment Summit. “Like the UK raising taxes.”