Gennady Timchenko

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Gennady Nikolayevich Timchenko
Born (1952-11-09) 9 November 1952 (age 61)
Leninakan, Armenian SSR, Soviet Union
Nationality Russian and Finnish
Net worth Increase US$15.3 billion (2014)

Gennady Nikolayevich Timchenko (also spelled Guennadi Timtchenko) (born 1952) is a prominent businessman and public figure.[1] He is the owner of the private investment group, Volga Group, which specializes in investments in energy, transport and infrastructure assets. He is Chairman of the Economic Council of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce.[2][3] Previously he was a co-owner of Gunvor Group.

He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kontinental Hockey League,[4] President of the SKA (St. Petersburg) ice hockey club,[5] member of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society [6] and a Chevalier of the French Légion d'honneur.[7]

He is a citizen of Russia,[8] and Finland,[9][10][11] currently living in Geneva, Switzerland.

Timchenko is ranked 62nd in the 2014 edition of the Forbes magazine billionaires list, with an estimated fortune of $15.3 billion USD.[8]

Early life and family[edit]

Gennady Timchenko was born in Leninakan (now Gyumri), Armenian SSR (Soviet Union) in 1952 with a father who was in the Soviet military. He spent part of his childhood in the German Democratic Republic (1959-1965)[12] and in Ukraine.[13]

According to a 2008 interview with the Wall Street Journal, he graduated in 1976 from the Mechanical Institute of St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) as an electrical mechanical engineer.[13]

He is married to Elena. They have three children. He currently lives in Moscow, Russia.[14]

Career[edit]

In 1977, he started to work as an engineer for the Izhorsky plant near St. Petersburg, which specialized in building power generators [15] Since he spoke German, he was then moved to the trade department of this state-owned company.

From 1982 to 1988 he worked as a senior engineer of the Ministry of Foreign Trade.[16]

In 1988, when Russia started to liberalize its economy, he was promoted to Deputy Director of state-owned oil company Kirishineftekhimexport, which had been created in 1987 based on the Kirishi refinery (one of the three largest refineries in the RSFSR).[17] At this time Timchenko’s teams set up some first export routes of oil products from the USSR to Western countries. Timchenko became one of the leading figures of the Russian oil trading industry.

In 1991, Gennady Timchenko decided to leave Russia and was hired by a Finland-based company, Urals Finland Oy, specializing in importing Russian oil to Europe. He settled in Finland and became a Finnish citizen.

In 1995, Urals Finland Oy was renamed International Petroleum Products Oy (IPP), and Gennady Timchenko became first deputy and then CEO of IPP OY.[17]

In 1997, together with Torbjörn Törnqvist, he co-founded the international commodity trading company Gunvor.[16] He sold his stake in 2014.[18]

In 2007, Gennady Timchenko founded the Volga Group (Volga Resources Group) private investment fund.[19] This group holds his Russian and international assets in the energy, transport, infrastructure, financial services and consumer sectors.

On July 4, 2013 Gennady Timchenko was appointed as a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in recognition of his work in creating a permanent exhibibition of Russian art in the Louvre, support for the Russian Museum in St Petersburg, and help in organizing the Alekhine Memorial chess tournament.[7]

On March 20, 2014, following the Crimean status referendum, Timchenko became one of the persons who were put by President Obama under executive sanctions due to their alleged close connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The sanctions freeze any assets he holds in the US and ban him from entering the United States.[10]

Citizenship[edit]

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Timchenko said that in 1999 he gave up Russian citizenship and became a Finnish citizen.[20]

In an interview with Forbes (Russian edition) on October 26, 2012 Gennady Timchenko said that he now has both Russian and Finnish citizenships.[21] Timchenko in an interview with ITAR-TASS on August 4, 2014, said he has never concealed having two passports, and that he has always paid the requisite taxes in both Russia and Finland. According to Timchenko, he needed Finnish citizenship to travel in the 1990s, when it was harder to travel on a Russian passport.[22]

The statement of the US Department of Treasure, announcing the individuals under sanctions due to the 2014 Crimean crisis, lists him as the citizen of Russia, Finland, and, incorrectly, Armenia.[10]

Wealth[edit]

According to Forbes magazine, Timchenko is one of the wealthiest people in Russia and the world:

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Wealth ($bn) 2.5 0.4 1.9 5.5 9.1 14.1 15.3
World Ranking 462[23] - 536[24] 185[25] 99[26] 62[26] 61[26]
Russian ranking 43[27] 98[28] 36[29] 26[30] 12[31] 9[32] 6[33]

According to the Russian publication, RBC, in 2012 Timchenko's worth was estimated at $24.61bn.[34]

In addition to business assets, Gennady Timchenko, according to media reports, also owns a property in Geneva, Switzerland, which consists of just over 1 ha of land, an internal area of 341m². According to the Land Registry Office of Geneva the purchase price of the property was SFR 8.4m (at the time of purchase in 2001 - about US$11m).[35][36]

His income, according to the Finnish tax authorities, increased tenfold from 1999 to 2001. In 2001 he declared an income of EUR 4.9m. Because of his high taxes, Gennady Timchenko moved to Switzerland in 2002.[37]

Gunvor[edit]

Main article: Gunvor (company)

Gennady Timchenko was the co-founder (together with Torbjörn Törnqvist) of Gunvor Group, a corporation registered in Cyprus, and operating in trading and logistics related to the international energy market. On 19 March 2014 Gennady Timchenko sold his stake in Gunvor to the other co-founder, Torbjörn Törnqvist.[38][39] The sale was made the day before Timchenko was included on the United States sanctions list in the wake of the annexing of Crimea by Russia. Timchenko said he had sold his stake in anticipation of "potential economic sanctions" and to "ensure with certainty the continued and uninterrupted operations of Gunvor Group".[39] The value of the transaction was not disclosed.[38]

Volga Group[edit]

Main article: Volga Group

In 2007 Gennady Timchenko founded the Luxemburg-based fund Volga Resources. The fund, which consolidates Timchenko's assets, was renamed in June 2013 as Volga Group and introduced at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.[40] He noted that, for the next few years, his group will focus on the development of infrastructure projects in Russia.[41]

The purpose of this fund is "based on direct and indirect investments in value-driven assets in Russia and internationally that produce consistent, long-term returns".[42] The group owns assets in the energy, transportation and infrastructure development, as well as financial services, consumer goods and real estate. Its most notable investments are in gas company Novatek and petrochemical company Sibur.

Airfix Aviation[edit]

In April 2014, Gennady Timchenko sold a 49% stake in the Finnish company IPP Oy, which owned 99% of the Finnish aviation company Airfix Aviation . It was small part of the Volga Group portfolio. Gennady Timchenko was subject to international sanctions after 2014 Crimean crisis in April 2014.[43]

Volga Group has been listed by the US Dept of Treasury (OFAC - Office of Foreign Assets Control) as a SDN (specially Designated Nationals) in the Ukraine-related sanction lists of 2014.[44]

Sport business[edit]

In July 2013, together with the Rotenberg brothers, Gennady Timchenko established Arena Events Oy, which bought 100% of Helsinki's Hartwall Areena.[45] They also bought a stake in Jokerit, the six-time national champion of the Finnish top-level ice hockey league Liiga. Consequently, Jokerit will transfer to the Kontinental Hockey League starting from the 2014-15 season.[46] They also own the large sport hall Hartwall Areena in Helsinki.[43] This is connected to a multi-storey car park, with capacity of 1,421 private vehicles.

Public activities and philanthropy[edit]

In 1998 Timchenko co-founded the Yawara-Neva Judo Club.[47][48]

In 2007, Gennady Timchenko and the company Surgutex founded the Kluch charitable foundation, which develops professional foster homes in Leningrad, Tambov and Ryazan regions.[49][50]

In 2008, Gennady and Elena Timchenko founded the Neva Foundation in Geneva,[51] in order to promote and finance cultural projects in Switzerland and Russia.[52] The foundation is notably focused on lyrical art and has a partnership with the Geneva Opera House. Renowned St Petersburg Philharmonic conductor Yuri Temirkanov is a trustee of the foundation.[53]

In 2010, Gennady and Elena Timchenko created the Ladoga Foundation.[1][54][55] The main activity of the fund is providing help for the elderly, as well as the restoration of spiritual and cultural heritage monuments, support for cultural projects and project support in the field of modern medical technology.

In 2011, Gennady Timchenko was elected Chairman of the Economic Council of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce (CCIFR).[3][56]

In 2011, Gennady Timchenko, was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of SKA (St. Petersburg), the leading ice hockey team.[5]

In 2012 he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Continental Hockey League (KHL).[4]

In September 2013 it was announced that the Ladoga Foundation would be renamed as the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Foundation (or just Timchenko Foundation for short).[57] This foundation has consolidated all the family’s charitable activities into one portfolio that focuses on supporting elderly people, sports, culture and foster families. These strategic priorities are aimed at driving positive social change in Russia.

He serves on the board of trustees of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow.[58]

Sports and hobbies[edit]

Gennady Timchenko likes to play and watch tennis. Through his formerly-owned Finnish company, IPP, he has sponsored an outdoor tennis tournament in Finland since 2000, the IPP Open. According to unconfirmed reports he funded the Finnish national team in the Davis Cup [59] and has sponsored a number of Russian tennis players.[60]

The media also has referred to the sponsorship of a sailing team which participates in the international RC44 yachting competition.[59]

In April 2011, Gennady Timchenko replaced Alexander Medvedev as Chairman of the Board of Directors of SKA, the St Petersburg-based ice hockey club. In May of the same year, under the new management structure of the club, he was appointed as Club President.[5]

In July 2012 he replaced Vyacheslav Fetisov as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Continental Hockey League KHL.[4]

In 2013, he became one of the sponsors and organisers of one of the most important international chess tournaments in the ELO rating – the Alekhine Memorial.[61]

The Timchenko Foundation promotes the development of the ice hockey and chess among young people.[62]

Awards[edit]

On October 12, 2013 Timchenko received French title of the Cavalier of Legion of Honour.[63][64] This award prompted Russian political writer Andrey Piontkovsky to write that "awarding a criminal with nickname Gangrene the highest distinction brings shame to the French state" [65]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Gennady Timchenko shows his philanthropic side". February 1. 
  2. ^ Co-owner of Novatek Timchenko Economic Council is Head of Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce January 2
  3. ^ a b "Oil trader Timchenko went to the image-makers". February 1. 
  4. ^ a b c "Timchenko became a chairman of the board of directors of the KHL". 
  5. ^ a b c "Appointed Chairman of the Board of SKA Gennady Timchenko". 
  6. ^ "Sobyanin restored to Russian Geographical Society merchant apartment house". 
  7. ^ a b "Timchenko has become a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur". February 1. 
  8. ^ a b "Forbes Timchenko Profile". Forbes. 
  9. ^ Hakalal, Pekkal (February 17, 2004). "Kremlin favourite Gennady Timchenko is Finnish citizen". Helsingin Sanomat. [dead link]
  10. ^ a b c "Ukraine-related Designations". US Department of Treasury. March 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Timchenko: Everything has to be paid for, and acquaintance with top officials as well Russia". ITAR-TASS. August 4, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Timchenko's path from shop foreman to billionaire". 
  13. ^ a b "Excerpts: Gunvor’s Timchenko On His History, Putin and Gunvor". The Wall Street Journal. June 11, 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  14. ^ ITAR-TASS: "Timchenko: Everything has to be paid for, and acquaintance with top officials as well"
  15. ^ "Timchenko,Gennady". 
  16. ^ a b "Main Investor". 
  17. ^ a b "At home among strangers". Russian focus. 2004-03-01. 
  18. ^ "Russian billionaire Timchenko sells his Gunvor stake to Tornqvist". 
  19. ^ "Timchenko participates in bid to fund a major highway in St Petersburg for RUB 130 billion". 
  20. ^ "Gennady Timchenko: Co-owner of Gunvor Group companies and venture capital company Volga Resources". 
  21. ^ "Kremlin favourite is Finnish citizen". 2004-02-17. 
  22. ^ ITAR-TASS: "Timchenko: Everything has to be paid for, and acquaintance with top officials as well"
  23. ^ The World’s Billionaires
  24. ^ The World’s Billionaires
  25. ^ The World’s Billionaires 2011
  26. ^ a b c The World’s Billionaires
  27. ^ "100 Richest Businessmen in Russia — 2008". 
  28. ^ "100 Richest Businessmen in Russia — 2009". 
  29. ^ "100 Richest Businessmen in Russia— 2010". 
  30. ^ "200 Richest Businessmen in Russia — 2011". 
  31. ^ "200 Richest Businessmen in Russia — 2012". 
  32. ^ Forbes: Forbes 2013 leaders in billionaire ranking
  33. ^ [1]
  34. ^ "G. Timchenko rose to first place in the richest billionaire ranking". 
  35. ^ "Oil trader "Clear water"". 
  36. ^ "Timchenko's homes and hotels". 
  37. ^ "Gennady Timchenko Biography". 
  38. ^ a b Zhdannikov, Dmitry; Mackey, Peg; Bousso, Ron (2014-03-21). "Oil firms, U.S. banks trade with Gunvor after co-founder sanctioned". Reuters. Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  39. ^ a b Johnson, Luke (2014-03-21). "Timchenko sells stake in Gunvor". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  40. ^ "Timchenko bundles all assets in Volga Group". 
  41. ^ "Gennady Timchenko "We understand that the most important thing is a businessman's reputation"". 
  42. ^ Volga Group web site
  43. ^ a b KL: Timtšenko myi lentoyhtiönsä 8.4.2014 yle
  44. ^ http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20140428.aspx
  45. ^ "CHL to join Finnish Jokerits". 
  46. ^ Wyshynski, Greg (30 October 2013). "Jokerit to KHL in 2014-15 is huge step for Russian league". Yahoo! Sports (Yahoo!). Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  47. ^ "Bribery and corruption have become endemic". 
  48. ^ "No one can tell me that I undermined anyone or took anything away from anyone". 
  49. ^ "Children’s centre built from Timchenko fund". 
  50. ^ "New cottages for foster families". 
  51. ^ "Soljenitsyne, le courage d'écrire". 
  52. ^ "LES FEMMES RUSSES AIMENT LES FONDATIONS" [RUSSIAN WOMEN LIKE THE FOUNDATIONS]. Bilan (in French). 05/12/2008. Archived from the original on December 14, 2010. 
  53. ^ Web site of the foundation.
  54. ^ [Вадим САМОРОДОВ: Фонд «Ладога» помогает пожилым ивановцам //«Ивановская газета», № 69 от 17.04.2012]
  55. ^ [ Сообщество — старшему поколению газета «Рабочий край», № 185 от 07.10.2011]
  56. ^ "Co-owner of Novatek Timchenko heads Economic Council as Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce". 
  57. ^ "Charitable Foundation "Ladoga" renamed the Helena and Gennady Timchenko Foundation". 
  58. ^ Еврейский музей и центр толерантности объявил о создании эндаумент-фонда Музея http://www.jewish-museum.ru
  59. ^ a b [Кузнец своего «Газпрома» // «Огонёк» № 12 от 29.03.2010(статья доступна в базе public.ru)
  60. ^ "Sergei Butov". Sport Express. 
  61. ^ "Think before doing". 
  62. ^ "Timchenko Foundation". 
  63. ^ ""Другу Путина" Тимченко вручили орден Почетного легиона". NEWSru. 12 October 2013. 
  64. ^ ""Друг Путина" Тимченко получил высшую награду Франции, учрежденную Наполеоном". NEWSru. 4 July 2013. 
  65. ^ Piontkovsky, Andrey. "ПАДЕНИЕ ПАРИЖА". Echo of Moscow. 

External links[edit]