‘Being a part of the Oxera team, I helped to develop robust arguments for the case as well as to present our analysis in a non-technical manner’

Personal profile
Name: Alexander Smirnov
Position: Senior Consultant
Oxera career: Analyst 2013, Consultant 2015
Education: MSc Financial Economics,
Oxford University;
BSc Economics and Finance,
London University;
BSc Economics, NRU Higher
School of Economics, Moscow

Project profile
Client: Confidential
Sector: Financial Services
Project: Confidential
Skills: Corporate Finance, Modelling

Q: Alex, can you tell us how you apply your finance skills at Oxera?
A: I have mostly been engaged in finance work related to commercial disputes. Outside of that, I do economic advisory work on risk and profitability assessment.

Q: Can you give an example of a concrete project?
A: My first commercial dispute project involved a reputational damage claim of over $10 billion. The claim was brought by a reasonably well-known asset management firm against its former business partner.

The claimant alleged that its former business partner illegally orchestrated an investigation into its operations, which caused it to suffer substantial losses. Oxera was asked to assess the damages claims of the asset management firm.

Q: How did you contribute to the project?
A: Being a part of the Oxera team, I helped to develop robust arguments for the case as well as to present our analysis in a non-technical manner.
At a high level:

  • valuation of the asset management business under counterfactual and actual scenarios;
  • quantitative assessment of the fund performance;
  • comparator analysis to assess the damages arising from allegedly lost expansion.

Q: How did Oxera help the dispute resolution?
A: We prepared an intuitive explanation of our analysis and findings, which helped the tribunal to understand why we believe certain claims are excessive and should be re-considered.

Q: What was the impact of our work?
A: We concluded that the loss arising from the allegedly illegal action was substantially smaller than the claimed amount and proposed an alternative estimate. The case was heard in the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris and we are currently waiting for the tribunal’s decision on the matter.

Q: What were the main takeaways for you?
A: I got to see how finance is applied in the context of commercial dispute resolution.