For over ten years, Russia has had a functioning institute of independent directors. The first wave of appointing independent directors in publicly owned companies took place in 2008. This discussion will focus on the results achieved by large and medium-sized companies under independent directors. There will be a review of best practices and shortcomings in the work of independent directors, while the main problems which shareholders face when selecting appropriate candidates will be examined. Issues on establishing a market of independent directors in Russia will also be considered. How can your business trust an outsider? Is an independent director your friend or a unknown quantity? What characteristics should the ideal independent director have?