The Westminster Russia Forum (WRF) is a London based members not-for profit members’ forum that was founded in 2012 to promote a greater cultural, commercial and political understanding between the UK and Russian Federation. The WRF’s membership is drawn from both the UK and Russia as well as the Former Soviet Union and we regularly organise networking events with a wide range of high level speakers from across the cultural, political and commercial fields.

The aim of the Westminster Russia Forum is to allow for a free and open forum for discussion, with speakers ranging from serving UK Government Ministers, senior Russian diplomats, and leading UK & Russian business/cultural leaders.

The WRF also provides a unique networking platform for all those with a keen interest in Russian history, politics, business and the arts as well as maintaining and promoting healthy relations between the United Kingdom & Russian Federation.

HONORARY MEMBERS FOR LIFE – JOHN HALE & JANET TRELOAR

Nicholas Cobb

Chairman & Representative South East

A life long Russophile – Nic took over the Chairmanship of the WRF in January 2014. His interest in Russia and the Former Soviet Union began at university and has been steadily developing ever since! Nic is a passionate believer in healthy and prosperous relations between Russia and the UK.

Aside the WRF Nic is a keen entrepreneur and set up Cobb Energy Communications in 2012, an energy sector focussed communications, technical and commodities consultancy with a pedigree in Russia.

Mark Izatt
Mark Izatt
Deputy Chairman & Director Corporate Partnerships

Mark made his first visit to Moscow in 2009 and since then has become a regular visitor primarily for business. A graduate of the University of Aberdeen, Mark worked for 10 years in New York and now resides in London as a global luxury and technology brand consultant.

Slava Jefremov
Slava Jefremov
Deputy Chairman & Director Communications

Slava Jefremov is a business strategist, marketing & communications expert with a flair for technology. He is helping WRF to grow digitally by writing columns sharing his experience and promoting dialogue between businesses operating in UK and Russia.

Stephen Lacey
Steven Lacey
Deputy Chairman & Director WRF Networking

A recognised figure in the world of marketing and advertising. Steven first went to Russia in 1989 on a school trip and feel in love with the country. He converted to Russian Orthodoxy in 2006. Steven is an expert in Russian Cultural codes and often gives talks to blue chip companies about what these mean for business and marketing. He is interested in Russian Culture, Politics and Spirituality.

Andrew Barrand
Andrew Barrand
Director Membership & Chair Campaigns Committee / Representative South West

Andrew Barrand is a Political Campaign Consultant, he has been involved in British political campaigning since 1996 and been a campaign consultant in other eastern European Campaigns. He is helping WRF to grow stronger political and commercial networks between like-minded organisations and individuals in the UK and Russia.

 


John Bonar
Editor – Russia Focus & Deputy Chairman

He was appointed editor of the Tripoli Mirror when he was 20 years old and as the accredited correspondent of the Observer was the only western journalist to witness the 1969 bloodless coup d’etat which swept Muammer Gaddafi to power. His journalism career took him to the civil wars in Chad, and Jordan, a hijacking in Kuwait and interviews with King Hussein, Yasser Arafat among others.
After 20 years in the Middle East he returned to London and in 1993 joined a marketing team recruited to work for the St Petersburg Organising Committee of the 1994 Goodwill Games. He became marketing Director of the London company Goodwill Publishing plc and went on to launch six glossy consumer magazines for the Russian market.
In 1995 he set up base in Russia in association with The Moscow News, published Marketing Russia until 1998 economic meltdown and launched the Russian Marketing Awards. He was briefly in 2006/07 editor of the English Moscow magazine, Passport and later published Executive Focus magazine.
He is an enthusiastic but inexpert sailor and recently sailed around the Greek Islands in the Ionian Sea with Blesma, the limbless veterans charity.
He is the publishing editor of the new WRF magazine, Russian Focus, which will launch in June with 15,000 copies and a digital version.


Morgan Brobyn
Director Political

Morgan Brobyn studied International Politics and Intelligence Studies at Aberystwyth University, the world’s first department for this discipline, specialising in politics in Central and Eastern Europe. He did his postgraduate in European Studies at Maastricht University in The Netherlands, which focused on the EU institutions and the multifaceted dimensions of policy-making across Europe.

Morgan has worked on a number of political campaigns, formerly the Deputy Director for Vote Leave in Wales, he played a significant role in ensuring one of the most successful victories for the Leave campaign in the UK’s EU referendum. He has also worked on a number of election campaigns for the Conservative Party in both Wales and London.

In his spare time Morgan practices aikido, judo, and follows club and national level rugby. An avid supporter of his native Wales, he also has a keen interest in the development of the sport in Russia.

Morgan works as a public affairs and communications consultant in the property sector.

 

Nigel Sussman

Director Commercial – BIO Coming Soon…

TBC
Director Political Engagement

Bio Coming Soon!

 


University Outreach Officer & Assistant to the Chair
Charles Beacroft

Charles Beacroft is currently an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded postgraduate researcher at the University of East Anglia (UEA). He also completed both his undergraduate degree, International Relations and Modern History, and his MA, Modern European History, from UEA. His research interests lay specifically in marginalised children in the early Soviet period, with a particular focus in education and upbringing of deafblind children. He has published several academic blogs and reviews and given academic papers on the subject both at conferences in the UK and the USA.


Ekatarina Fields
Senior Consultant & Committee Member

Born and raised in Moscow, Ekaterina was a Russian child film star, under her maiden name of Ekaterina Parfenova in “Higher than Rainbow”, a Soviet film perennially broadcast on TV. She went on to be a fashion model, a first Russian Miss World, experienced the end of Communism and of the Cold War, and has followed international relations ever since. Ekaterina has a degree in Systems Analysis from the Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute, and a BA degree in Marketing and Finance from City University, London. Having lived for many years in New York and in London she developed a calibrated understanding of the diverse strategic positions between East and West. A continued presence on Russian television, Ekaterina has worked in the UK as a consultant, advising international clients on investor relations and strategic introductions. Her specific areas of interest are international trade and security with a regional focus on Europe and Russia. Ekatarina is a member of Chatham House.

 

The WRF are currently recruiting for a number of additional exec committee members — if you are interested please do get in touch!