website is shared by shareholders

Philip Ilyin-Adaev complained about the attempt of an investor - the American fund Russia Partners - to take away the project from him.
Origin source
“An entrepreneur who ventured to create his own business is methodically inspired by the idea that he just needs to let the investor into the capital ... But there is a small remark: with the advent of the investor, this is NOT YOUR company anymore,” wrote Philippe Ilyin, the founder of the project. Adaev December 2 on his Facebook. The entrepreneur, who founded the project 14 years ago, complained that his business partners, the American Russia Partners fund Siguler Guff, were trying to “remove” him and his wife Elena Ischeev from the business. The American fund in owns 40%, and Ilyin-Adaev, his brother Kirill, Ischeeva and several other minority shareholders - 60%. Forbes figured out the essence of the stock conflict over - the media, which is now the largest independent financial portal with an audience of more than 4.5 million users per month.

Media and marketplace

The essence of the stock conflict is in the structure of the business. Now it is not only financial media, but also a marketplace for the sale of financial, insurance and telecommunications products. Three years ago, transferred media licenses to a separate specially created legal entity - Bankovskiye Novosti LLC, which Ilyin-Adaev applied for and became its CEO. It was necessary to transfer the licenses to the new legal entity in order to comply with the law on mass media, which entered into force in early 2016, according to which foreigners (in the case of - Russia Partners) could not own more than 20% in Russian media, says Ilyin-Adaev. “In essence, replacing a legal entity is a purely technical procedure, but it allowed us to comply with the requirements of the law,” he wrote on his Facebook. Information Agency buys content from Banking News. “For three years, normal work has been going on: we prepared the content, bought it and posted it on the site,” Ilyin-Adayev told Forbes. However, in mid-2019, he received a notification from the director general of Dinara Yunusova that terminated the contract with Banking News for the purchase of journalistic content. According to Ilyin-Adayev, Yunusov did this under pressure from Russia Partners. He also says that the need to terminate the contract was explained by the fact that the investor of the company, the Russia Partners fund, plans to leave only the functionality of a financial supermarket on the portal. According to him, Russia Partners offered him to abandon media licenses and “withdraw“ Banking News ”outside the“ ”perimeter, he told Forbes.

“Phrases began to sound that this is my personal company and it has nothing to do with and it doesn’t suit them,” says Ilyin-Adayev. In addition, according to him, Russia Partners “questioned” several projects. Among such projects was People’s Rating - a rating of banks, insurers, Internet providers and mobile operators, which is based on feedback from portal visitors about the level of service in companies. Also, as Ilyin-Adaev writes on Facebook, they questioned the feasibility of holding the annual “Bank of the Year” ceremony, as well as draft meetings with top managers of OfficeParty and Finparty banks.

“The editors are a loss-making project”

The general director of Dinara Yunusova told Forbes that the company is undergoing reorganization, one of the editorial offices, namely the edition, is moving to another legal entity. The editors of Finparty remain in Banking News, she said. “We are not talking about closing the editorial office and the People’s Rating, it’s part of our business that brings traffic that we monetize through the marketplace. I made the decision on reorganization, acting within the framework of the charter of the company and following the shareholder agreement. The shareholders approve and agree on the development strategy of the company, I am engaged in all operational management within my authority, I am responsible for the financial result, so to say that I did it under the pressure of one of the shareholders is just to distort the facts, ”the CEO said "".

In November, Ilyin-Adaev received another letter from Yunusova stating that on February 13, 2020, the Bank News was renting out the premises that they rented as an office. According to one of employees, the office is rented by, and the editorial office of Banking News rents an area there under a sublease agreement.

In 2018, according to SPARK, the revenue of Information Agency LLC (includes a financial marketplace) amounted to 993 million rubles, and net profit - 190 million rubles. The revenue of Banking News in 2018 reached 64 million rubles, and the net loss amounted to more than 4 million rubles. “Other shareholders do not like that the money leaves the company,” says the Forbes source.

“The editorial is a loss-making project, but it is necessary for building a business. We do journalism, invest in expertise, act as a resource to improve financial literacy, but we don’t make money on it, ”says Ilyin-Adaev.

Yunusova says that the shareholders probably have disagreements about the further development of the project. A Forbes source at the company claims that these disagreements relate to PR projects, "which are not integrated into the marketplace strategy."

Russia Partners did not respond to a Forbes request. According to one of employees, none of the shareholders' representatives has yet to meet with the editorial board.

Like Neumann and Kalanik

Russia Partners is not the only outside investor in the 14-year history of In 2010, Finam Holding bought a stake in for $ 3 million, and sold it for $ 6 million three years later. “We were satisfied with this investment,” says the managing partner of the Finsight Ventures fund (part of Finam) Alexey Garyunov.

“I personally know [the director of the Russia Partners fund] Alexey Lupachev as a law-abiding person who acts only under the framework of shareholder agreements. As far as I know, Russia Partners has ended the investment period for transactions, so they cannot buy back a share from another shareholder, ”says Garyunov.

According to him, often the founders of companies are good at the initial stages of their development, and when the company becomes mature, it needs professional managers who will shape the strategy, budgets, determine the best partnerships, etc. “You can recall the examples of Travis Kalanik from Uber or Adam Neumann from WeWork, ”adds Garyunov.