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After a year long search the newly-founded Skolkovo school of management in Moscow has appointed its international dean. Wilfried Vanhonacker, a founder and former dean of Ceibs in Shanghai, will work alongside the Russian dean Andrey Volkov and Skolkovo president Ruben Vardanian to manage the school.

The tripartite management system was introduced by Mr Vardanian, chief executive of Troika Dialog, the investment bank, when plans for the school were first announced a year ago. He persuaded a dozen of Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs and two non-Russian investors each to stump up $5m each to finance the school. These include Shiv Vikram Khemka, vice-chairman of the Sun Group in India and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; and Roman Abramovich, probably most famous outside Russia as the owner of the English premiership soccer club Chelsea.

Mr Vardanian visited 18 business schools worldwide before deciding how he wanted the Moscow school to be run and opted for a model which relies heavily on executive education short courses. A pilot MBA programme is planned for 2008. The campus, which has been designed by David Adjaye, the London-based architect, will open in September 2009.

Prof Vanhonacker, a marketing specialist, has worked at Columbia, Insead and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology as well as Ceibs. A Belgian by birth, Prof Vanhonacker says he was impressed by the school’s ambitious plans. “I hope that the experience I gained in building up Ceibs and my interest and knowledge of businesses in rapidly developing countries will help Skolkovo find its place in the list of educational institutions regarded by potential students as offering the very best education.”


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