A banker from Petersburg: Vladimir Kogan makes his way to the big business league

One of the most closed participants of the Forbes ranking was a contender for the purchase of Uralkali. Where did the former civil servant get the money?
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In August 2011, the helicopter "Russia" airlines landed at Kronstadt. The ladder down Vladimir Putin, who met a representative delegation - the head of the presidential administration Sergei Ivanov, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, Governor Valentina Matvienko, presidential envoy Ilya Klebanov. But Putin bus escorted simple Head of the Department of Regional Development Vladimir Kogan, others were following.

Dropping to a nearby chair with Putin, Cohen acted as a guide on "Complex of St. Petersburg Flood Protection Barrier", which is in the city informally called "Putin's dam." "This is the largest in Europe, is now hydraulic structure ..." - said Kogan. "And the most modern!" - Echoed from behind Matvienko. "They were afraid that without fresh water Gulf drags mud. This year, the bay does not blossom, and we even have damaged pensions: the people are swimming in the bay and in the pools do not bathe "- relaxed joking Kogan. Putin looked pleased, and Kogan enjoyed triumph.

In the 1990s, Cohen was the most influential Petersthey banker. Among the people with whom he started and was friends with whom she continues, - the vice-premiers, ministers, heads of state-owned banks and participants in Forbes list. People with a much more modest starting positions now occupy key positions in the state and in the business - the Kogan recent years worked for the state, without becoming either a really big official or oligarch. In August of this year, Cohen was one of the contenders for a share of Suleiman Kerimov "Uralkali". Where is the man who has spent the last nine years of government service, was ready to find a few billion dollars for the purchase of "Uralkali" and why is it so hard to hold in the shade?

"Banker of the city"

"In the early 1990s on the north of the city he had a trading company, sell everything - from clothing to computers and cars. There were many at the time - says an old friend Kogan, the current director of the FAS in St. Petersburg Alexander Belyaev management. - Foreign cars used rabid demand, margin on office equipment reached 500%, Customs was full of holes. Mainly on trade and madeervonachalnye capital. "

One of the banks in which the firm Kogan held accounts was the St. Petersburg branch of the ICB (PSB), the time corporatized and separated from the Moscow office. There's a young businessman met his future partner David Traktovenko, who worked at the bank since 1988. Traktovenko said of Forbes, which became a shareholder of PSB since incorporation, as well as its other employees. Kogan appeared later. As he became a major shareholder and head of the bank's board of directors, does not want to tell Traktovenko. Shares of the partners did not disclose, and only after the sale of a blocking stake in VTB Bank became known in 2004 that Kogan and Traktovenko left at 23%. Kogan to communicate with Forbes refused.

It is unlikely to buy up shares of PSB in the early 1990s, needed a lot of money. "While the value of the assets was not the same as now, it was possible to buy and TSUM a couple of million dollars. The assets were bought for a penny in the team ", - says Yuri Rydnik, the ex-president and co-owner of 50% Baltoneximbank, another St. Petersburg's largest bank at the time. New PSB shareholder with packagemore than 5% associated with Kogan - "Petrovsky Trade House" - appeared in the DPM reporting in 1996.

Since Soviet times, in DPM had a reputation as the main creditor of the industrial enterprises, however, in the 1990s, almost all the industry was in a deplorable state. The best way to survive - to get access to budget money. If it succeeded, the system worked flawlessly: Treasury was not, and the money collected by customs or tax authorities, sent to an account at an authorized bank. He was paying salaries to state employees and carry out other operations.

He was such a "banker of the city", the entire top of the generally held open his account ", - says his friend.
Among the clients of the bank and was head of the City Hall's Committee for Foreign Affairs, Vladimir Putin, he also owned a small package PSB (less than 1%). "Then all looking for something more or less reliable, and the subscription for the shares of PSB was open", - says Alexander Belyaev, who was also a minority shareholder of the bank.

Establish communication with the officials was considered one of the main objectives of the banker-Kogan. "Putin was theYes influential person in the city, but, of course, in the shadow of Sobchak. With whom he was friends, few people pay attention, "- says Forbes former Governor Vladimir Yakovlev. Among those with whom Kogan had to establish relations, and has all the current nomenclature - the deputy head of the City Property Management Committee of German Gref to Igor Sechin, Putin's Chief of Staff, Vice-Governor. According to acquaintances Kogan, while it is especially made friends with the siloviki bloc headed by the former chief of the St. Petersburg FSB Viktor Cherkesov and Vice Governor Ilya Klebanov (the latter even entered the PSB Board of Directors). Kogan did not comment.

"Intelligent and clever people"

In 1995, at Kogan has already been nicknamed the Great, says a former employee of the St. Petersburg Mayor's Office. By the end of governor Anatoly Sobchak, he led the PSB, St. Petersburg became the largest bank. After winning Yakovleva Kogan was forced to share the "clearing" competitors: in the city was Baltoneximbank, half of which belonged to the "Interros" Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov, andI received at the storage part of the budget. "At the time, the most important was the ability to negotiate - Rydnik recalls - more than half the business, I knew then, no longer: they either left or boarded or killed.
Therefore, I believe we Kogan not only intelligent people, but smart. "

"Kogan several times could start the big war, but believed that the war must go to the last round, and if so, to start it is not very helpful," - says his friend. According to him, Cohen was able to "solve problems" - for him there were people in uniform, and, "if anything, raised the entire Foundry, 4" (e Petersburg FSB -. Forbes).

Negotiate peacefully Kogan was not always: in the early 2000s, in tandem with Oleg Deripaska, he began a desperate battle for the assets of the largest "Ilim Pulp" Pulp and Paper Holding. Its principal owner Zahar Smushkin was formerly a partner Kogan - PSB partially finance the purchase of shares of plants and until 2001 owned about 40% of the company. This package is sold to the bank, based on an assessment of all the company's business at $ 400 million. But after the firstthe cost of "Ilim Pulp", according to the company, increased by 1.5 times, and Kogan, along with Deripaska tried to seize control of the major assets of the holding - Bratsk and Kotlas Pulp and Paper Mill.
The standoff lasted for several years.

"At Kotlas was the situation, and when the one and the other side stood two hundred serious-minded people with guns"
- Says one of the participants in the events. The settlement agreement was signed by parties to the conflict only in 2004, received an unambiguous signal from the Kremlin: Russian President's administration headed by Dmitry Medvedev in late 2003, last - co-founder and chief lawyer of "Ilim Pulp Enterprise".

In the late 1990s, PSB has owned several dozens of industrial enterprises of the city and the region: the company received loans in the bank could not pay, and the bank was part of their capital. According Traktovenko, sometimes purposefully bank bought shares of its major customers. For example, it owns appeared stake Kirov factory. The famous defense plant in 1990 was a sad sight. "Kirovcue the plant in 1990 was a big garbage with incomprehensible control. Not all infantrymen entered there could then withdraw, "- says one of the former partners Kogan. - But then state-owned assets were very cheap, sin was not to buy, the more the plant land right in the center of the city. "

Managed Assets Shareholders PSB created in 1997 "Banking House" Saint Petersburg "- a holding company designed to manage the unwieldy structure, which consisted of multiple and unrelated total enterprise idea, including agriculture, defense, chemical, etc. become one. business it was not meant to: in the mid-2000s during the St. Petersburg entrepreneur Kogan career ended.

In 2003, Yakovlev became the vice-premier, led the city Valentina Matvienko, and Kogan began selling off assets. On July 1, 2004 PSB was the 10th bank in Russia by assets (74 billion rubles), and 12th in terms of capital (7.7 billion rubles). The banks "St. Petersburg" and IBSP, were part of the banking house, sold the management, and the ICB was bought by VTB Bank for $ 577 million. Over the next few letons were sold almost all of the remaining assets "banking house" St. Petersburg ": a controlling stake in the football club" Zenith "," Kronverk "cinema network, leasing company" Baltic Leasing ", etc. (see infographic).... It seems that Kogan has decided to close down its operations in St. Petersburg. In an interview with "Vedomosti" Kogan said that by the time the bank has achieved a first-class level, and therefore he had to be new aktsionery.Po Forbes estimated that only in the sale of major assets of the partners could earn more than $ 1 billion.

Jurisdiction Kogan

During one of his visits to St. Petersburg in 2005, Putin visited the famous local long-term construction - a huge dam project, frozen in 1987 due to lack of money and environmental protests - and grabbed his head. It seemed that "this scrap yard" can not be restored, Putin later recalled.