As the discussion on Nord Stream 2 remains heated in Europe, one person’s name keeps coming up in the discussion. Enough has been written on Matthias Warnig’s alleged past in both books and newspaper articles that I don’t feel it’s particularly valuable to repeat much of it. A quick review of this article from 2014 should be enough to give you a brief background.
For whatever reason, Matthias Warnig remains an integral part of the Russian business community. According to his biography on VTB’s website, he is currently connected to the following companies:
- Nord Stream AG (Switzerland), Managing Director
- United Company RUSAL Plc, Chairman of the Board of Directors
- Gas Project Development Central Asia AG (Switzerland), Chairman of the Administrative Council
- Rosneft, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors
- Gazprom Schweiz AG (Switzerland), Chairman of the Administrative Council
- Transneft, Member of the Board of Directors
- Interatis Consulting AG, Chairman of the Administrative Council
- Interatis Engineering AG, Chairman of the Administrative Council
- Interatis AG (Switzerland), Director
Most of these companies are well-known, and their details easily found online. But the company I’d like to focus on today is the last one.
According to his CV on VTB’s website, Warnig claims that his responsibilities at Interatis are: “Managing the company in accordance with the law and internal documents.” A nicely vague statement that reveals nothing, and certainly not the fact that Warnig reportedly holds a stake in the company.
But what does Interatis AG do and what projects is it involved in?
One of Interatis’ interests is a company called Lambert Energy Advisory Limited which is registered the UK. The company went through several name changes before settling on its current one. It was incorporated on 8 September 1999 under the name Addsport Limited. 3 months later, the name was changed to Lambert Oil and Gas Advisory Limited, but only kept that name for one month before changing to its current name.
There are 9 current officers of the company, according to paperwork filed with Companies House. The company is majority owned by Philip Stephen Owen Lambert, and his wife Joanna. Between them, they hold 60.50% of the company.
Interatis AG currently holds a 10.60% stake in Lambert’s company. It also holds 1 single non-voting B share (the purpose of this sole share is still a mystery to me). Interatis is the second largest shareholder in the company after the Lamberts. It became a shareholder in 2009.
Warnig is also the president of Interatis Engineering AG (registered at the same address as Interatis AG in 2010). According to a December 2014 RBK article, Warnig is a beneficiary of Interatis Engineering AG.
But even if these clues were not sufficient evidence, Warnig’s signature does appear on documents filed with Companies House by Lambert’s company in 2010.
The remainder of the shares in Lambert’s are divided out between family members of the officers or companies associated with them, including Norway’s Tore Sandvold, and former British Diplomat Sir Jeremy Greenstock.
Another shareholder is Alexander Landia, who says he is a German citizen, but who is originally from Georgia. Landia graduated from Tbilisi State University in the early 1990s, and then immediately went on to join Dresdner Bank, where Warnig worked at the same time. Landia’s 3.91% stake is held through the holding company Varny Business Corp.
But what is Lambert Energy Advisory Limited? Who is Philip Lambert? And why is Matthias Warnig a shareholder?
A 2011 article in the Evening Standard describes Lambert as “the quiet man behind the historic BP-Rosneft deal”. According to the article, Lambert opened his firm with the backing of Kleinwort’s Lord Rockley (who died in late 2011).
Lambert has no website, relying on old connections and word of mouth.
This is apparently enough as an FOI filed by environmentalists in 2014 revealed. Lambert met in July 2013 with then Energy Minister Michael Fallon at the latter’s request. The email exchange setting up the meeting is sadly redacted and only really reveals that a meeting took place, and the agenda. A second member of Lambert’s team also attended the meeting, though that person’s name is also redacted.
I have found no evidence of any wrong-doing with Lambert or his company, but Matthias Warnig’s connection to it is worth keeping an eye on as Nord Stream 2 gains traction.