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A Global Campus: Alumni Team-Up, Expand Into Russia
July 28, 2011
Classmates Cody Bateman and Eugene Terekhov stayed in touch even after they completed the Global Executive MBA program in 2006, and when Bateman learned that Terekhov wished to emigrate to the United States from his native Russia, Bateman had a job to offer him.
Bateman is a Managing Partner at a boutique investment banking firm in Dallas, TX. When the firm considered expanding into Russia, Bateman immediately thought of Terekhov. While they were classmates, Bateman became familiar with Terekhov’s experience in risk management and thought he would be a perfect fit for the firm.
“Within each of the pillars of our firm, we focus on specific client-centric engagements where our efforts and results are directly tied to the desired outcome of our deal principals,” Bateman says. “In Russia, we have some investors interested in the U.S. We’re providing a conduit to be able to do due diligence and analysis. Eugene is instrumental in structuring deals, creating pitch decks, and finalizing all work products. In addition, he speaks Russian, which lends us greater credibility and breaks down one of the biggest barriers.”
As a partner at the firm, Terekhov splits his time between Russia and Dallas. He connects Russian investors with projects in the U.S., and he connects American investors with opportunities in Russia and Kazakhstan. “This is a good place to be growing internationally,” Terekhov says.
Terekhov and Bateman already have experience working together, since they teamed up on a number of projects during their time at Fuqua. One aspect of the MBA program that they both express gratitude toward is how well it integrated students from different countries and taught them to work together despite their varying cultural backgrounds.
“The differences between Russia and the U.S.—there are many,” Terekhov says. “This is natural. What is good about Fuqua is we received so many lessons on how to manage business in different cultures. The only thing is how to turn those differences into gains, and bring some value to both sides.”
Terekhov first discovered Fuqua during a presentation about the school in Moscow. He and another friend were exploring business school options in the U.S. and they narrowed their choices down to a few schools, including Duke. After visiting the campus and learning more about Fuqua’s program, he decided the Global Executive MBA best suited him.
“I really liked the people, the campus, the innovative approach to business education,” Terekhov says. “We decided to take a chance with Fuqua. I’m really proud to be a Fuqua alumnus.”
So proud, in fact, that Terekhov has pitched in on the school’s recruiting efforts in Moscow, including MBA fairs and information sessions. He has assisted Daria Zarubina, Fuqua’s Regional Director for Russia and the CIS, with several events.
“Eugene is always responsive and ready to assist with any of our operations in Russia,” says Zarubina. “At first, I felt a little bit sad when I found out that he was moving because he was such a wonderful help to me in Moscow, but he is still involved even from overseas. Besides, it’s always great to see how our alumni interact across the ocean and help each other.”
Terekhov says he still plans to stay involved with Fuqua’s efforts in Russia because his educational experience was so rewarding.
“It’s hard to express my sense of appreciation for Duke and Fuqua, and what the school is doing to bring the best experience and education all over the world,” he says. “I still enjoy my memories about my days in school. I’m trying to express my thanks, say thank you somehow.”
Uprooting from Moscow and relocating to Dallas would seem like a daunting adjustment to some. But Terekhov says he and his family embraced the move and have had little difficulty acclimating to their new surroundings.
“We’re pretty familiar with the States,” he says. “We love this country and the business culture. We didn’t have any discomfort or adjustments. We’d been here many times before. I felt very comfortable right from the start.”