Tinkov at Tinkoff Bank office in January 2015
Олег Юрьевич Тиньков
25 December 1967
|Occupation||Founder of Tinkoff Bank|
|Net worth||US$1.2 billion (March 2016)|
Oleg Tinkov (Russian: Олег Юрьевич Тиньков; born 25 December 1967) is a Russian entrepreneur and cycling sponsor. According to Forbes, in 2014 he was ranked 1210 in the list of the wealthiest people in the world, on the list of the richest businessmen in Russia in 2016 he was ranked 79 with a fortune of $1.2 billion.
Oleg Tinkoff is known as the founder of a network of shops of household appliances Technoshock, frozen food factories Daria, brewing companies and network of Tinkoff restaurants. Among less well-known projects – music store Music Shock and the record label Shock Records, which released first albums bands Kirpichi, Leningrad, and which worked with the Knife for Frau Müller. Tinkoff is the founder and chairman of the Tinkoff Bank board of directors (until 2015 it was called Tinkoff Credit Systems). The bank was founded in 2007 and as of December 1, 2016, it is ranked 45 in terms of assets and 33 – for equity among Russian banks.
Tinkoff is passionate about road cycling and has the title of candidate in master of sports of the USSR. In 2005, he created a professional cycling team Tinkoff Restaurants, which later changed its name to Tinkoff Credit Systems and became the basis for the Katyusha team. From December 2013 to November 2016 he owned a cycling team Tinkoff.
Since the age of 12 Tinkoff was interested in road cycling, he was a member of cycling clubs at school, and later – at the workplaces. He won in a number of competitions, and in 1984 received the title of a candidate in master of sports. During training camps Tinkoff first took up black marketeering, buying hard-to-find goods in Central Asia, and selling them in Leninsk-Kuznetsky. His cycling career was interrupted by military service: he did not get in the Sports Club of the army and was sent to the border troops. In 1986–1988 he served in the Far East – in Nakhodka and Nikolayevsk-on-Amur.
In 1988, Oleg Tinkoff entered the Mining Institute. Institution with a large number of foreign students offered great opportunities for trade. Oleg traded on jeans, cosmetics and perfumery, caviar and vodka. He sold goods from St. Petersburg in Siberia, and from there he brought Japanese household appliances purchased from the miners. He brought electrical appliances to Poland and got back from there with office equipment and supplies, gas cartridges and guns.
He traded together with his future wife and fellow students – Oleg Zherebtsov (later – the founder of shops network Lenta), Oleg Leonov (future founder of shops network DIXY) and Andrey Rogachev (founder of the company LEC and Pyaterochka).
Oleg Tinkoff met an Estonian, Rina Vosman, while studying at the university. The wedding took place in June 2009 – after 20 years of living together. Their daughter Daria Tinkov studied at King's College London, sons Pasha and Roman at St Edward's School, Oxford.
In 1992, Oleg Tinkoff began wholesale electronics trade from Singapore and to simplify the registration of documents he registered a limited liability partnership Petrosib in St. Petersburg, and then regional companies Petrosib-Kemerovo, Petrosib-Novosibirsk and Petrosib-Omsk and others. Goods arrived in St. Petersburg and from there went to the regions, where they were sold with a larger markup. He started with calculators and went on to the office equipment, televisions, VCRs and even artificial flowers and trees. In the beginning, Oleg himself flew to Singapore, then began to use air transport, but the turning point came when an Indian dealer Ashok Vasmani shipped him half container TVs on credit. Tinkoff went on to container transportation.
Reduced profits from wholesale pushed Tinkoff towards launching his own store network. In 1994 Petrosib opened the first store under the Sony label on Maly Prospect of Vasilevsky Island in St. Petersburg. Then – another one at Marata Street. Petrosib USA opened in San Francisco. Success in retail inspired Tinkoff to combine shops under one name. Technoshock was opened in 1995 and offered expensive household appliances at the highest prices in the city, but still it was popular. Technoshock was one of the first companies in Russia which began to train its sales consultants. Sergio Gutsalenko, an American of Russian origin, became the President of the company. The network grew rapidly: by 1996 the Technoshock had five stores in St. Petersburg, two in Omsk and Kemerovo and one in Novorossiysk. From 1995 to 1996 the turnover doubled and reached $40 million.
By 1997 in St. Petersburg there were Eldorado stores which increased competition and reduced profitability. In 1997 Oleg Tinkoff sold the company to its management, and a year later it was acquired by Simteks. Oleg came out of the Technoshock with $7 million and invested the sum in the pelmeni business.
Along with Technoshock Tinkoff opened a network of music stores Music Shock in 1996. Philipp Kirkorov and Alla Pugacheva performed at the opening of the first Music Shock, Jeanne Aguzarova – at the second.
Together with Ilya Bortnyuk, Tinkoff launched Shock Records record label. The label released debut albums of bands Kirpichi, Leningrad, Vladimir Dashkevich Symphony based on his music for the film Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, the album Nechelovek-vidimka by Knife for Frau Müller. Music Shock published a 320-page book Viktor Tsoi, composed by Victor’s widow Mariana Tsoi and Alexey Rybin, musician of Kino band.
Pelmeni and other frozen foods were produced under the brand name Daria, named after the daughter of Oleg Tinkoff. A Greek called Athanasius, who distributed ravioli production equipment in Russia, gave Tinkoff this idea while in the sauna. Production was launched in early 1998 in Peterhof and in the beginning it made products under the trademark Smak under license from Andrey Makarevich company. After the conflict with the licensor, the brand name changed to Smak St. Petersburg. Economic crisis was the reason to create its own brand: the new brand helped increase the market share. The new plant, which opened in December 1998, at the site of a former Technoshock warehouse on Predportovaya street in St. Petersburg, originally produced only Daria. In addition, Tinkoff made products under the brands of Tolsty kok, Dobry product and Tsar-batyushka.
Daria got its first popularity thanks to the advertising campaign, in which five billboards in St. Petersburg and two in Moscow showed an image of female buttocks covered with flour and the caption Your favorite pelmeni!. In another commercial there was a phrase From these raviolek you’ll get stomach cramps, which caused Ravioli company dissatisfaction. In return they used a phrase Daria, shoo! in their advertisement campaign.
In 1997 Tinkoff could not find an investor for the construction of a brewery. Two meetings helped: an equipment supplier, with whom Tinkoff met at the exhibition Drinktec in Munich, proposed to combine the brewery with a restaurant and focus on the development of the brand and the other supplier – suggested that beer would be called after the family name according to the Bavarian tradition.
The initial investment amounted to one million Deutschmarks, and in August 1998 the first restaurant was opened in St. Petersburg on Kazanskaya street, 7. There soon appeared a line for beer in bottles. In 2001 the restaurant was opened in Moscow in Protochny lane, the investment in which amounted to $2 million. The restaurant was opened in Samara in November 2002, in Novosibirsk – in January 2003, then there were restaurants in Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Ufa, Yekaterinburg, Vladivostok and Sochi.
The first plant was built by the summer of 2003 with the support of the bank Zenith which opened a credit line for Tinkoff brewery. For construction of the second plant the company raised the funds through a bond issue, as well as the bank Zenit loans and the German HypoVereinsbank. The second plant worth about $75 million was completely built on credit funds.
Tinkoff factories produced Tinkoff beer, Tekiza, and T. While expanding, the company invested significant funds in mass marketing. There was even a bad experience of collaboration with photographer and director Oliviero Toscani, author of the United Colors of Benetton advertising campaigns.
Since 2004 Sun Interbrew group showed interest in acquisition of Tinkoff plants, and in 2005 it took place. It paid about $200 million for factory and brand. After that Tinkoff sold the premises of Tinkoff restaurants to the management company Troika Dialog for about $10–12 million and at the same time he signed a long-term lease of the same premises. Finally in 2008–2009 the restaurants themselves were acquired by Mint Capital equity fund.
On November 18, 2005, at Necker Island, owned by billionaire Richard Branson, Oleg Tinkov presented a draft of the future bank. In 2006 he acquired the Moscow Himmashbank and based on it created a bank with a remote service, which was first in Russia. Despite the setbacks in attracting investment at the start of the project, during the crisis of 2008 the bank showed a 50-fold increase in profits.
Tinkoff Credit Systems reduced costs at the expense of marketing which was non-standard for the banking sector and the widespread use of computer processing of the data instead of human labor. For a long time the bank did not attract deposits and used its own capital for lending.
The developed technology platform played a major role: the IPO of the bank was one of the largest deals in 2013 Russian version of Forbes, and Oleg Tinkoff doubled his fortune and took 1210 position in the world ranking of billionaires.
Tinkoff Restaurants cycling team under command of coach Alexander Kuznetsov became historically the third Russian professional team. At the time of its appearance it was the only one in Russia. The team was presented in January 2006 at the headquarters at the Spanish villa of Kuznetsov, it was composed of members of the Russian national track races team, including Mikhail Ignatiev, Nikolay Trusov, Alexander Serov, Sergey Klimov, Pavel Brutt and Ivan Rovny. Airline Siberia was joint team sponsor, the annual budget was $4 million.
Tinkoff Credit Systems
Tinkoff Credit Systems was by the season 2007 on the basis of Tinkoff Restaurants, but with an Italian management and registration. UCI Professional Continental license allowed athletes to participate in all the major European races. The new line-up had a higher number of foreign athletes and the captain was an American Tyler Hamilton.
Successful performances of the team, including these at the stages of the Giro d'Italia in 2008, attracted the attention of former cyclist Igor Makarov, an owner of Itera corporation. At his initiative and under the sponsorship of Gazprom and Rostekhnologii based on the Tinkoff Credit Systems Russian team Katyusha was established.
Tinkoff and Katyusha were only Russian team performing at the UCI World Tour races. Cyclists of the team repeatedly won at the stages of the prestigious Grand Tour: in particular, Alberto Contador became the winner of the Vuelta a España and the Giro d'Italia, and Peter Sagan repeatedly became the owner of maillot vert as the best sprinter in the Tour de France.
Oleg Tinkoff has repeatedly criticized the bureaucratization of professional cycling and outdated sponsorship model. He became one of the shareholders of the project Velon – World Tour Team initiative for the development of professional cycling, organizing more spectacular events, protecting the interests of sponsors and team owners. Tinkoff also stands for Grand Tour schedule, which will enable the strongest riders to perform at each of them during the season. In 2014, he offered the captain Tinkoff-Saxo Alberto Contador and his rivals Chris Froome, who rides for Sky Procycling and Vincenzo Nibali of Astana Pro Team 1 million euros each for performing in all the three major stage races of the world.
Since 2016 the cycling team acted under the name Tinkoff, as Saxo Bank has decided not to renew sponsorship contract further than 2015. At the end of 2015 he announced that by the end of the 2016 season he will leave the cycling sport and sell the team. Oleg Tinkov as the sole title sponsor of the team was spending on it about 20 million euros per year, and for all time, together with the bank invested in it about 50 million euros. In addition to the increased financial burden among the reasons he mentions lack of potential for bank-branding, losses for the cycling teams, absence of reforms in the sport, as well as the long-running conflict between the Union Cycliste Internationale and Amaury Sport Organisation. In the last season the team won the second place and was finally disbanded in November 2016.
Among Tinkoff’s property – a personal aircraft Dassault Falcon 7X with the bank's logo on the tail. In September 2015 Tinkoff announced that he will invest 250 million rubles in the construction of hotel and recreational complex in the Elizovo district on Kamchatka, where he often rests. It was assumed that launching would happen in the IV quarter of next year. In January 2016 it became known that he had abandoned the project because of opposition from local officials and instead invested in the French Alps. In June of the same year he opened two Tinkoff luxurious chalets called La Datcha: one in the ski resort of Courchevel and the second – in Val Thorens. In 2017 and 2018 there will be new homes in Forte dei Marmi and Astrakhan.
In 2017, he renounced his American citizenship. Tinkov is one of many "Russian oligarchs" named in the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, CAATSA, signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017.
From 2007 to 2010, he was a columnist for Finance magazine. Since 2010, the chief editor of the magazine Oleg Anisimov went on to work at Tinkoff Bank and worked with him on the TV show Business secrets with Oleg Tinkoff at the online channel Russia.ru. An interview with Mikhail Fridman in October 2015 restarted production of Business secrets after a two-year break.
Oleg Tinkoff wrote two books summarizing his entrepreneurial experience: "I am like everyone" (Russian: «Я такой как все») which was published in 2010 and "How to become a businessman" (Russian: «Как стать бизнесменом») – a year later.
In order to promote the brand Tinkoff a story of Porphyry Tinkoff, an ancestor and a brewer, who supplied beer to the imperial court since 1759, was invented. According to legend, the page mentioning him, was found by Oleg Tinkov in Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary. The fake page was presented in the Toponymy Commission of St. Petersburg [ru] with a proposal to memorize the Tinkoff family line in the street name. Officials did not notice the fraud and agreed to the proposal of the company, and in 7 July 2003 Tinkoff Lane appeared in Pushkin, Saint Petersburg.
US Tax Evasion Case
On February 27, 2020, Tinkoff Credit Systems Group Holding PLC (TCSGH) announced that Tinkov was attending court hearings initiated in London by the US Internal Revenue Service.  No details were disclosed. Two days later, on March 1, 2020, The Daily Express published an article where it stated Tinkov paid £20m bail to avoid being held in jail until an extradition hearing was to take place in April.  The article also stated the terms of his release required him to surrender his passports and be confined to his residence for 12 hours per day. The following day, on March 2, 2020, TCSGH released statement confirming the details of The Daily Express article.  An indictment issued on September 26, 2019, by a federal grand jury was unsealed on March 5 following Tinkov's arrest in London.  The indictment stated Tinkov allegedly concealed $1 Billion in Assets and Income when Renouncing U.S. Citizenship. The indictment charges Tinkov with two counts of tax fraud, each carrying a potential 3 year prison term.
On March 6, 2020, the day after the indictment was unsealed, Tinkov announced he was fighting acute leukemia that was diagnosed in October 2019. It was reported that Tinkov had already undergone chemotherapy, and that his silence was associated with his declining health. After an announcement by his representatives, shares of TCS Group, which included Tinkov on the board of directors, fell almost 25% on the Moscow Exchange.
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- Никита Лихачёв (2012-04-22). "Тиньков такой как всегда»". Tjournal.ru.
- "Первая Дарья Абрамовича". Forbes. 2010-04-21.
- Ольга Стрелкова (2011-09-21). "Книга недели: "Как стать бизнесменом" по методу Тинькова". Slon.ru.
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- https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/2020-02-28/tcs-group-holding-plc-notification TCS Group Notification
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