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Franz J. Sedelmayer    

Author, Entrepreneur, Security Expert & Lecturer

Franz J. Sedelmayer is the author of “Welcome to Putingrad,” the memoir of his years as an entrepreneur in Russia and his legal case against President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation. He has contributed to the New York Times and the Transnational Dispute Management Journal.

His lawsuit, Sedelmayer vs. Russian Federation is case law on the subject of asset recovery. He is a subject matter expert on international investment, risk and dispute management, global enforcement of arbitration awards and judgements, investment arbitration, sovereign immunity, money laundering, business intelligence and political risk management.

He is a regular speaker at universities, bar associations, law firms, and trade and government agencies ranging from the University of Vienna, the University of Cologne, Utah Valley University, to the International Section of the Florida Bar Association, the Geneva Foreign Lawyers’ Association, Latham & Watkins, to London’s elite Special Forces and East India Clubs, the Offshore Alert Conference and the Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He has long been the focus of the international media. Starting in 1996 he has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Economist, der Spiegel, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Newsweek (Russia), Bild, Reuters and Dow Jones. He has also appeared on BBC, CBS, CNN, RTL, ARD, BR, ZDF, and Russian State Television’s RTR and NTV.

Sedelmayer is CEO of the US-based MARC LLC (Multinational Asset Recovery Company), which specializes in international dispute management and world-wide claim recovery services. He also serves as trustee, director, and consultant for companies and individuals involved in litigation and claim recovery against sovereigns, state-owned enterprises, and other foreign debtors.

He was educated at the Munich International School, attended the University of Utah, and served in the German armed forces (airborne and signaling). In 1989 he moved to Russia and became a pioneering entrepreneur, forming the joint venture “Kamenny Ostrov Company JSC” with the USSR Ministry of Interior’s Leningrad City and Regional Police Department to supply law enforcement equipment. He enjoyed a good working relationship with the then deputy mayor, Vladimir Putin, which included his building, equipping and training the FSB SWAT team “GRAD” pro bono for the Goodwill Games. During his time in Saint Petersburg he was a founder of the Saint Petersburg International Business Association (SPIBA), served as an advisor to the Kazakh government, the Leningrad Region Governor, the Ministry of Federal Security (FSB), the Russian Presidential Guard Service, and the Leningrad Police Department.

In 1996 President Boris Yeltsin nationalized Mr. Sedelmayer’s Russian holdings. Russia refused to compensate him and so he pursued his claim through ad hoc arbitration in Sweden under the German-Russian bilateral investment treaty. “Sedelmayer vs. Russian Federation” resulted in the first international arbitration award against Russia. Mr. Sedelmayer prevailed in proceedings against the Russian Federation in dozens of cases brought before European public court and arbitration tribunals, proceedings that spanned more than a decade.

He is an authority on the rise of Vladimir Putin, Russia and its descent into a Kremlin-sponsored kleptocracy, and the lengths to which the West will have to go in order to contain current day Russia and its gangster-driven leadership.

Speech Topics


Welcome to Putingrad

The rise and influence of Vladimir Putin in the new century. Why is Russia so active in destabilizing the world order? The use of corruption as a political instrument. How we can contain Russian expansionism and support the forces of democracies. Myth and Truth, Facts and Figures.

Sedelmayer vs. Russia: Beating Russia at its own Game

Adventures in international law. How to fight and win against a kleptocracy on the international stage. Speaking the truth to power and getting paid in the process.

Doing your Homework: Business Intelligence and Political Risk Management

An investor’s guide. Getting in is easy, defending your assets on the ground and exiting a market intact can be murder. How to get it right from the start.

Taking Organized Crime Public: Will the Russian Federation be the New Role Model for Developing States?

Is Putinism the new and coming ideology? How the Russian state successfully incorporated organized crime and corruption and won the support of almost any Western industrial country. Using the judiciary, law Enforcement and intelligence agencies for criminal activity.

A Practical Approach to International Investment, Risk and Dispute Management

International investment risk and dispute management, global enforcement of arbitration awards and judgements, investment arbitration, sovereign immunity, business intelligence and political risk management, with a special focus on Russia and other developing nations.

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