Dr. Galina Blest-Sokolovskaia, PhD
Dr. Blest-Sokolovskaia has many years of experience in investment and commercial banking, strategy, marketing, project management and economics. She held many positions as senior management – from the head investment analyst to the Vice President of one of the first and biggest commercial banks in Russia, MosbusinessBank (now Bank of Moscow), and TransCapital Bank. During that time, she was able to use her expertise to lead the development and expansion of branch networks to the regions, increasing their penetration into new markets and increased the client base several fold.
Dr. Blest-Sokolovskaia was in charge of the implementation of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank funded micro credit program for small and medium businesses. She also led the implementation of investment programs for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in their program to develop residential construction projects in Russia.
Dr. Galina Blest-Sokolovskaia was one of the authors of the legislation on long-term mortgage lending in Russia and was a key member of a mortgage lending working group in the Russian State Duma Committee, where she spent several years as an active member of MBNA.
She has great experience in working with large Russian Federal, State, and private companies in various sectors (manufacturing, industrial, construction, et al). Examples include commercialization and strategic usage of Russian satellites in the national economy (NPO “Energy“, http://www.energia.ru ); creation of the first share capital structure in Russia (joint stock company Trading House “Saratov“).
Dr. Blest-Sokolovskaia received her PhD in Economics and has over 100 published works. She was born in Moscow, Russian Federation and now lives with her family in the United States.
Ms. Plaia brought to WBI over 15 years of experience in investment banking, finance and accounting. Prior to joining the company in 2009, Ms. Plaia honed her expertise on Wall Street as a Director of Emerging Markets Research Sales in the Investment Banking division of UniCredit (formerly Aton) Securities in New York City. During her tenure within European Equity Sales team, she liaised with major U.S. asset managers assisting them with research ideas and advice on navigating through capital markets in Central & Eastern Europe and Russia/CIS. During her career at UniCredit/Aton, Alina helped raise over $1Bn in capital (public placements, IPOs, private placements and PIPEs) for corporate clients across all market caps. Being one of the pioneers at Aton Securities, Inc., Ms. Plaia and her team built a multi-million dollar business that helped bring recognition from numerous U.S. investment funds to the Aton brand and its research products. Ms. Plaia started her career at Deloitte & Touche LLP, where she specialized on tax consultation for financial services companies. Following her time at Delloitte & Touche, Ms. Plaia worked at Societe Generale in regulatory reporting and Asset and Liability Management division.
Ms. Plaia received a Graduate Degree in Finance from Leonard N. Stern School of Business of New York University. She holds a CPA license, and FINRA Series 7,63, and 79. She is a member of a Rose Society and New York Advisory Board of Best Buddies, A. Kennedy Shriver-founded charity creating opportunities and friendships for people with IDDs ( www.bestbuddies.org ).