Cherkasov Denis Vladimirovich
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Denis Vladimirovich Cherkasov (born March 1, 1976, Fergana, Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic) is a Russian venture businessman and technology investor. He has worked at CEO of Luch Publishing House, Vice President and Co-Director at UFG Private Equity, Private Equity Director at Wermuth Asset Management GmbH (2008–2012) and Advisor on International Investment at RUSNANO (2012). Since 2013, he has been Chief Executive Officer at SBVC Asset Management.
In 1999, Denis Cherkasov received a degree in French economy from the International Economic Relations faculty of MGIMO University. The same year, he started working on his Ph.D. at the Institute for the Economy in Transition (IET). Alongside his studies, he lectured in corporate finance, banking microeconomics and risk management at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). In 2011, he received a Diploma in Company Direction at the Institute of Directors (IoD) in London, majoring in governance in private and public companies of the UK. Denis Cherkasov was one of the first Russians to become a Chartered Director in 2017, a qualification awarded by the IoD (IDC – Independent Director Charter). There are only 10 Chartered Directors in Russia today. The UK’s Institute of Directors is a leading international organization entitled to confirm Director qualifications under the Royal Charter.
Start of professional career
In 2003, Denis Cherkasov founded Luch Publishing House and launched the Populyarnye Finansy (transl. “Popular Finances”) monthly magazine in the media market. The project was funded by a group of private investors invited by the businessman, with the investment worth over $2 million. The magazine reached profitability in 18 months after its first issue had been published. The professional community appreciated the first periodical of this format focused on personal finance management. In 2004, Denis Cherkasov won the Media Manager of Russia award for "the Best Original Concept of a Non-Business Magazine." The project was a success and its shareholders were offered to sell the periodical.
In 2006, Denis Cherkasov was appointed Vice President of UFG Private Equity. He was responsible for buying, selling and managing Russian companies' equity shares worth $250 million. He participated in the sale of News Media Publishing House, the key asset of UFG Private Equity Fund I, with the annual return on the transaction of 50%. In some time, the businessman also took over as the fund’s Co-Director for Investment. In 2008, Denis Cherkasov joined Wermuth Asset Management GmbH. As Private Equity Director he managed the portfolio of capital investments (including venture capital investments) worth $220 million in Russian, European and US privately held companies. WAM helped the North Timber Group, a timber harvesting and processing company operating in Arkhangelsk Region, sell a stake to a major international investor. His other notable achievements include the sale of Conquest Petroleum, a US-based company, and a shale oil and gas production project. Also, Denis Cherkasov participated in the debt restructuring of Dikaya Orkhideya (transl. – “Wild Orchid”), a well-known lingerie retailer, which allowed the company to resume its operation.
Career at RUSNANO
In 2012, Denis Cherkasov was invited to join RUSNANO as Advisor on International Investment. He managed the state-run corporation's investment projects in Italy, Germany and the U.S. along with supervising industrial and technology investment. Before quitting the company in summer 2013, he had also been involved in the restructuring of Italian and German distressed assets. The state corporation sold its shares, which allowed it to return the invested funds although it could lose them altogether.
Career at Sberbank
In 2013, Denis Cherkasov was invited to become CEO at Troika Venture Capital Asset Management Company. In January 2014, the company affiliated with Sberbank Group changed to its current name – SBVC Management Company. The company manages the oldest Russian venture funds supported by the government that were established at the initiative of the Russian President. At the new post, he was charged with restructuring the investment portfolio of the funds managed by Troika Venture Capital and align the company's activities with Sberbank Group's technology investment strategy.
Board of Directors memberships
Denis Cherkasov has held positions in the Boards of Directors at multiple companies:
- Kalina – cosmetics manufacturer
- Wild Orchid – premium women's lingerie distributor
- iiko – developer of automation systems for the HoReCa industry
- Cortona3D – developer of CAD/CAM simulation software
- North Timber Group – forest harvesting and wood processing company
- Canatu Oy, Finland – manufacturer of bendable touch films
- Conquest Petroleum, USA – oil company
- Advenira Enterprises, Inc., USA – developer and manufacturer of nanocomposite materials
- Parallel Graphics Ltd., Ireland – computer technology company
- Biomimedica, Inc., USA – medical device company