Alexander Smolensky

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Alexander Pavlovich Smolensky
Born (1954-07-06) July 6, 1954 (age 65)
Spouse(s)Smolenskaya (Marchenko) Galina Nikolayevna (b. 1959, Djambul)
ChildrenNikolay (b. 1980)

Alexander Pavlovich Smolensky (Russian: Алекса́ндр Па́влович Смолéнский) (born July 6, 1954) is a Russian businessman.


Alexander Smolensky began his business activities on the black market of the so-called "shadow economy". His private ventures included trading foreign currency, moonlighting on a second job in a bakery with a counterfeit permit as well as typesetting and printing Bibles using government presses and ink.[1] He was arrested by the KGB in 1981 and charged with economic crimes. Subsequently, he was sentenced to two years of hard labour although he only served one day.

Alexander Smolensky is considered the first private banker of Russia. Alexander Smolensky is the founder and president of one of the largest private banks in Russia - Bank Stolichny.[2] In 1992, he set up the country's first debit card processing system. In 1998, he merged his agribusiness assets in Agroprombank (acquired in 1996), which was renamed SBS-Agro and gave the businessman a tremendous influence at the Kremlin.[3] SBS-Agro collapsed in the 1998 Russian financial crisis wiping out its investors' savings. When asked what he owed his investors he replied: "dead donkey ears".[4] He also declared that his banking activities had not went bankrupt, but solely split into several structures spread throughout the country and managed by an advanced computer system.[2] In 1999, Russian prosecutors issued a warrant for his arrest including charges of embezzlement and money laundering. This warrant, however, was later dropped.[5]

Smolensky's net worth in 2003 was estimated to be 230 million USD.[6] By 2003, he renamed his group OVK Bank, turned it over to his son Nikoley, who sold it to Vladimir Potanin two months later.[3][7] In 2004, his son Nikolay Smolensky purchased the sportscar maker TVR.[3]

Alexander Smolensky currently controls the newspaper Novaya Gazeta.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Render Unto Caesar: Putin and the Oligarchs By Marshall I. Goldman[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b Journal, Andrew Higgins Staff Reporter of The Wall Street (2000-10-04). "A Russian Banker Rebounds By Outfoxing His Creditors". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  3. ^ a b c "TVR buyer is Russia's youngest millionaire". 2004-07-28. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  4. ^ David E. Hoffman. The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia, Public Affairs (2003) ISBN 1-58648-202-5
  5. ^ Ian Jeffries. The New Russia: A Handbook of Economic and Political Developments, Routledge: 2002. ISBN 0-7007-1621-1
  6. ^ The 100 Richest Russians, Alexander Smolensky
  7. ^ Wheeler, Carolynne (2004-07-28). "Ex-bank boss, 24, buys himself a sports car factory". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-08-05.