Interview to "Vedomosti" Alexei Ananiev gave in the Institute of Russian Realistic Art founded by him. To leave Russia, like his younger brother Dmitri, he is not going to: the main thing in his life here. The problems of Promsvyazbank were not a secret, admits Alexei Ananiev, but the introduction of the interim administration at the end of the year was unexpected for him. The senior Ananiev did not want his name to be associated with a collapsed bank, which he did not manage, and suggested that his brother divide the assets. As a result, Alexey Ananiev returned to where he started many years ago: he is the sole owner of the IT company Technoserv and, in his opinion, no longer belongs to the gold hundred Forbes, where he ranked 58th in the last ranking.
- We are meeting in Moscow. Have you decided to stay in Russia? Do not plan to leave the country?
- Dasha, I did not have such an issue in principle - to stay or not to stay. Because everything that is important to me in life, it is here: parents, family, work. I do not represent my life in another country - I did not leave and I do not plan to leave.
"Your brother made a different decision for himself."
"I do not know what decision he made for himself." Yes, and not authorized to speak for him. I speak for myself.
- Tell us what kind of relationship you have with your brother, taking into account the fact that Promsvyazbank collapsed - went to sanation. You were among the shareholders of the bank.
- Of course it was. We have a relationship of two brothers. Whatever happens, there are fundamental things that do not change. Although we decided that everyone will conduct their own business independently.
About the business section
- Do I understand correctly that you decided to divide the assets?
- Yes, absolutely true. We decided to divide the assets shortly after the temporary administration was entered into the bank. This was predetermined by the December situation.
"How did this happen?"
- I made an offer to Dmitry and I am grateful that he accepted this proposal. We exchanged shares in the assets - it was a cash-strapped deal. Assets are divided according to the one who historically engaged. I fully own and manage the group of companies "Technoserv" and everything related to information technology. I left the shareholders of Promsvyazkapital, transferring my share to my brother, and my brother left the shareholders of Technoserv. Now I have 100% of Technoserv, and my brother has 100% of Promsvyazcapital. Thus, I am no longer a shareholder of Promsvyazbank and Renaissance, no longer have a relationship with financial assets. And the PSN group, the media always belonged to Dmitry.
"Why did you ask your brother to divide the business?"
- In spite of the fact that the key assets belonged to us equally, each was in charge of its segment. Dmitry was engaged in banks and "Promsvyazkapitalom", and I - "Technoservom." After the Central Bank introduced the provisional administration to Promsvyazbank, I considered that it would be correct if each of us would be engaged in its assets - those that historically managed.
- Do you want your name not to be connected with what is happening now with Promsvyazbank?
- You understand, this is correct in the part that I do not influence what happens to financial assets. And did not influence before.
- Have you ever been influenced?
- Only as a member of the board of directors of the bank. Operationally never participated.
- But you knew about the condition of PSB? Was it a surprise for you or is it a predictable result?
"The fact that the bank has problems, distressed assets - it was not a secret to anyone. The regulator, the auditor, and the rating agencies knew about this. This topic was constantly heard at the board of directors. And the proposals with which management came out - the dissolution of reserves and the resolution of the issue with problem assets through the use of operating profit - were fully approved by us. The board of directors had an understanding and awareness of the situation. There was a question with the pace. But we understand what the current economic situation in the country is. We saw that the bank is operationally profitable, that the bank this profit increases and the potential for solving the accumulated problems in the long run was there. What came as a surprise to me? Frankly, the fact that the regulator took a decision in December, at the end of the year. The Central Bank sharply raised the question of completing the reserves. In my opinion, a much more difficult situation, given the information background in the banking sector, was with liquidity. By the end of November, the situation with liquidity in Promsvyazbank began to improve, so the decision was unexpected. Obviously, the Central Bank had information that neither I nor the board of directors owned. Discuss the actions of the Central Bank, and even more so they will not be challenged. In the end, you are right: the problem assets were, it is the result of the work of the bank. First of all, we must ask ourselves.
- Do you think that divorce on assets will be an argument for the Central Bank (or a new shareholder and management) not to recover assets from you in favor of the bank?
"I did not even think about it for myself." This kind of talk has not been with me yet. In the context of communication with the interim administration on current issues, this topic was not raised.
- The Central Bank believes that on the eve of the introduction of the interim administration into the bank, its management conducted a number of transactions that worsened the financial situation. In particular, they bought shares of the bank from pension funds. Did you know that such transactions took place? Did you participate in them?
- These transactions with me as a member of the board of directors and even as a shareholder were not discussed. I was not informed about this.
- Did you attend meetings at the Central Bank?
- As a shareholder, I attended several meetings. They can be counted on the fingers. Regularly communicated with the Central Bank Dmitry - he represented the position of the bank. I was at the last two meetings. They passed after the order was issued. On Monday evening there was an order, meetings in the Central Bank on Tuesday and Wednesday.
- And how did they pass?
- It's normal, it's constructive enough. On Tuesday we talked about how we see a way out of the situation, the CB expressed its understanding. On Wednesday, there was a talk about how the interim administration will start work. Technical issues were already discussed.
- Why did the bank's shareholders not begin to capitalize it? Why did not you take this decision? After all, the problems of the bank were solved simply by replenishing the capital.
"That's a good question, you're right." But we did not have such funds at that time, in order to pour them into the bank's capital. And there was an understanding that the capital should be replenished at the expense of the bank's own earnings.
- Your brother, when we talked at the end of December, said that there were ideas of attracting foreign investors into the capital - negotiations were going on, but there was not enough time.
- Yes, he is right. Such negotiations were conducted. Did not have time.
- And with whom were the negotiations?
- I do not think that it makes sense to talk about this now. All in the past. Dmitry last six months did his best to keep the bank.
- Do you take part in the transaction on "Renaissance"?
- No. Yes, I have no formal grounds to take part after we have divided the business. I do not participate from the very beginning of the process. I do not even understand the deal. "Revival" is a good bank, something it should cost.
- We started with the fact that human relations are preserved.
- Human - yes. But not participation in business, not control. Sale of the "Renaissance" is the business of the brother, this is his asset.
- And how do you feel about the fact that Dmitry chose a certain model of behavior in the context of the situation? We have several examples. Shareholders of the "Discovery" do not comment on anything and do not conduct legal proceedings with the Central Bank. Shareholders of Binbank, on the contrary, actively cooperate with the Central Bank and talk about it. Your brother chose the third option: it is known about the lawsuits with the Central Bank, courts are going on in Cyprus and in Russia. Do you understand this strategy?
- I do not want to comment and evaluate. I think he knows what he is doing and what results he wants to achieve. It would be extremely wrong to comment on this now. I have not dealt with the bank, neither before, nor now.
"Does not your brother consult you?"
- A before consulting.
- Previously, there were grounds for this. And now they are not - it's his asset, he's responsible for it, not me. I can say that my brother sincerely wanted to make the best bank in the market. Humanly, I understand his emotionality. For him to keep the bank was a personal duty. The degree of his frustration is clear to me.
About your own business
- How did the sanation of Promsvyazbank affect your business?
- I would like to see a man for whom the loss of a bank, especially the largest private one, would be good news. Of course, it affected, and affected negatively. The bank for a long time was the core of our assets, and all the activities of various businesses in one way or another were connected with the bank. Directly and indirectly. Many of our partners, when they worked with us, understood that the stability of operations is provided, including by such a machine as Promsvyazbank. Of course, this is a very negative factor. Another thing is that although the bank was the main one for the overwhelming majority of businesses, then for which I answer, IT and Technoserv do not depend critically on it. It is very important for us, of course, but we have worked and continue to work with other banks. I have a clear understanding of how we will cope with this situation. The company has been on the market for 25 years and is one of the largest integrators on the Russian market.
- You said that the sanation of Promsvyazbank was a negative factor, but we talked only about business. A reputational damage is? Do the partners ask questions?
- Potentially questions can appear to any person, as he will cope with the difficulties faced - correctly or incorrectly. If to talk about me personally, then I make every effort to properly pass this difficult period. I believe that if you make the right conclusions from everything that has happened and is happening, and based on these conclusions your behavior is corrected, then any person will successfully pass through difficult situations and become even stronger.
- What are the correct conclusions?
- For each they are their own.
- For you what?
"They obviously boil down to the need to weigh risks very clearly and make the right decisions on time, without postponing them for later.
- Do you allow yourself to participate in banks, financial organizations for yourself?
- I made a decision for myself: I do not want to participate any more in banking organizations or in financial ones. Except for working with projects on financial technologies.
- You said that you have a clear understanding of how you will cope with the situation. How?
- Work. The only way. This is what I and the Technoserv team are actively engaged in. The time when we received new business opportunities by providing financing to our customers, ended long before the changes in the banking market. Promsvyazbank provided us with support primarily on long-term government contracts, such as, for example, "Safe City". The rest of the business we developed at our own knowledge base. Moreover, and the direction "Safe City" today is also, first of all, expertise. By and large, we are leaders in this market, primarily because we have created a unique ecosystem of products that covers the full range of needs at all levels - from the municipality to the subject of the Federation - in terms of solving the problems facing the AIC "Safe City".
- As far as I know, Technoserv has debts to Promsvyazbank.
- "Technoserv" is credited in Promsvyazbank, you are right.
- Does the company serve these debts? Maybe there is some restructuring plan?
- Loans are serviced, they are not restructured, and so far this is not the case. All borrowed funds are serviced on time - both in Promsvyazbank and in other banks. The company lacks turnover to cover loans. Moreover, we had in recent years an understanding that we need to reduce the size of borrowing - and we shortened the portfolio. Many loans were repaid. For example, in January they fully repaid loans to Sberbank, more precisely, to Sberbank Austria. In plans to repay and other loans - Promsvyazbank, in particular.
- When are you planning to repay a loan in Promsvyazbank and in which banks there are more loans?
- In Promsvyazbank we have a serious loan. This is not the theme of this year alone. By maturity. I am sure that there will be no problems with servicing and repayment of the loan. We are also credited in Globex, in the Renaissance, of course.
- What is the size of the loans?
- We are a non-public company. Figures do not disclose. For business it is much more important that over the past four years we do not see the growth rates of the sector as a whole, which we would like to see from a high-tech business. First of all, this applies to an increasingly commododised segment of system integration. This is an infrastructure service that is most in demand when the economy grows. If the economy is in a horizontal position (at best), IT budgets shrink, projects are postponed. For business, this is a bad background, it does not cause much optimism. Therefore, in the last three years we have been investing in other IT sectors, where growth rates are higher than in the integrator business, which is growing by a few percent. I very much hope that the situation in the economy will improve, otherwise I would not make the choice to continue working in Russia. While this is my only strategy, there are no reasons to change it yet.
- For example, what other businesses are you going to invest in?
- First of all, it's cloud computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data, consulting and outsourcing. For example, in early 2017 we launched the cloud platform "Cloud Techno". Among her clients we now have Kaspersky Lab, Bonduelle, the network of cinemas Karo. Many federal customers. This direction is growing at an amazing rate. Although the absolute figures are still incomparable with the figures that the traditional business brings, I believe that in the next few years the change in focuses will allow us to change the portfolio of proposals that we are doing. And this will affect the results.
- What should be the ratio of the business of the integrator and other segments?
- Great, if 50 to 50.
"But it's a utopia." As with bankers, the dream is to equalize commissions and interest income.
- But why? In the fourth quarter, the commission income from PSB covered administrative and business expenses by 98%.
- And all interest income went to the creation of reserves.
- To dissolution.
- And then to create.
- Promsvyazbank did not create new reserves.
- Maybe this was the problem?
- Maybe. With the CBA, the bank did not come to an agreement - neither by figures, nor by terms.
- Are you currently conducting any projects, for example, with Sberbank, Rostekh?
- Sberbank is one of our largest customers - in terms of service, IT services, integration.
- Sberbank has its own integrator.
- Yes there is. But the needs of Sberbank as the largest customer in the financial sector are very wide. Sberbank uses the services of third parties. Speaking of "Rosteha", recently we have created a stable alliance for the implementation of the AIC "Safe City".
- Do you plan a partnership at the joint-stock level?
- My belief is that you should speak about M & A deals when they have already taken place.
"So uninteresting." Do you negotiate?
- We constantly communicate. I think that in the near future there will be news, about which I can tell you. Still nothing has taken place.
- Do you plan to continue this business?
- Yes. This is what I did before, this is what I started from scratch and developed. And I'm not tired of this yet.
- So you do not completely consider selling the company?
- No, I do not.
- A sale of control?
- There must be an offer. It is necessary to discuss. But who needs to work with me when I do not control the business?
- In my understanding, the integrator business is tied to people who work in the company.
- And there is.
- In "Tehnoserv" there was a great turnover of staff.
- We have never had a movement of people more than 15-18% per year. Rotation is a natural process. The main thing is that new people are stronger than those with whom we part.
- What is the debt owed by Technoserv to distributors - for example, before OCS?
- We have a long-term relationship with them. This is an ongoing process - something is being ordered all the time, delivered, paid. There are credit conditions as well - within the credit lines provided by the distributors. With the OCS everything is settled, there is a schedule of payments. We form it quarterly - it's routine.
About the Kremlin's list
- You were on the US Kremlin list. Do you feel any consequences?
"Not at all yet." For me it was a great surprise that I got there.
- Well, even if it was formed on the basis of the Forbes list, I do not enter it for objective reasons.
- And how much do you assess your condition now?
"It's some ungrateful thing to sit and assess your condition." I'm not even telling you what is the debt load of Technoserv. Why should we now discuss my assessment of my own condition? This should interest only me and my family.
"You are a public person." They were on the 58th place in 2017 in the ranking of Forbes.
- Yes, in some part [public man]. But not in terms of assessing your own condition. Let's see what they will calculate this year.
- Are not you afraid to get on the really valid list? For your business, which includes a lot of work with foreign suppliers, that the sanction risk that currency risk is very important.
- You are absolutely right. But so far none of the foreign suppliers and vendors have changed their attitude towards us after the publication of the Kremlin list. Problems must be solved as they arrive - what's the use of sitting and inventing, will happen or not happen.
- And what about the straws?
- I've read in the newspapers that someone allegedly hired lobbying firms to not get on this list. I hired nobody and do not intend to hire. Everywhere you can not make straw. It is better not to make mistakes, to behave honestly with people in life, to fulfill their obligations. This is the surest way to lay straws.