Although most businesses have already made the short-term decision around whether to continue or discontinue operations, some of these decisions continue to evolve. McDonald’s for example initially announced in March it would temporarily close its locations in Russia; more recently, the company announced a permanent exit from the country and the sale of its Russian business.6 Likewise, Starbucks announced on May 23 that it will exit the Russian market and wind down operations there.7 And because many companies with operations in Russia have suspended operations rather than completely exiting the market,8 mid- and long-term decisions on this issue will likely continue. The key to success going forward is being prepared to evaluate future scenarios through a consistent business continuity framework.
Economic factors to consider:
- Almost 1,000 companies have halted or curtailed Russian operations.9 Some shut down quickly in the days immediately following the invasion, while others face higher costs due to the intricacy of operations.
- The Russian central bank hiked interest rates to 20% in the immediate aftermath of the invasion; it later cut interest rates on April 8 to 17%, and further reduced the rate to 14% as of the end of April.10
- Collectively, sanctioned Russian banks account for ~80% of assets in Russia’s banking system.11 In early May, moves toward additional proposed sanctions were announced by the European Union12 and the United States.13
Key questions to ask when assessing the impact of this decision:
- Is this temporary or a permanent divestment? If permanent, how do you manage the purchase transaction?
- How will this affect operating margins?
- How will you ensure safety for your people in the area? How will they get paid? How will this affect your people operations globally?
- For publicly traded companies, how much stock is held by entities or individuals in Russia?
- What are legal requirements (visa) to enable relocation?
- What policies do you need to put in place to support family relocation?