To become a billionaire billionaire businessman Vladimir Kogan helped a wide circle of acquaintances. Among the people with whom he is a friend are vice premiers, ministers, heads of state banks and members of the Forbes list.
In the early 1990s, in the north of St. Petersburg, Kogan had a trading company selling everything from clothes to computers and cars. One of the banks, where Kogan's firm kept accounts, was Promstroibank's St. Petersburg branch (PSB), which had been corporatized and separated from the Moscow division by that time. There, a young businessman met his future partner David Traktovenko, who had worked in the bank since 1988.
Since Soviet times, the PSB had a reputation as the main creditor of industrial enterprises, although in the 1990s almost the entire industry was in a deplorable state. The best way to survive is to get access to budgetary money. If this was successful, the system worked flawlessly: the federal treasury was not yet there, and the money collected by the customs or tax authorities was sent to an account with an authorized bank. He also paid salaries to state employees and carried out other operations. "Kogan was a" banker of the city, "the whole top kept it a rule to open an account with him," recalls his acquaintance.
Kogan became a major shareholder and head of the board of directors of the bank. After the sale of the blocking stake to VTB Bank in 2004 it became known that 23% of Kogan and Traktovenko remained. Among the clients of the bank was also the head of the city hall's external relations committee Vladimir Putin, he also owned a small PSB package (less than 1%).
But it can not be said that Vladimir Kogan led his business without conflicts, in the early 2000s, in tandem with Oleg Deripaska, he began a desperate battle for the assets of the largest pulp and paper holding company Ilim Pulp. Its main owner Zahar Smushkin used to be a partner of Kogan - the PSB partially financed the purchase of the shares of the combines and until 2001 owned about 40% of the company. The bank sold this package based on an assessment of the company's entire business at $ 400 million. The peace agreement was signed by the conflict participants only in 2004, receiving an unambiguous signal from the Kremlin: the administration of the Russian president in late 2003 was headed by Dmitry Medvedev, in the past - the co-founder and chief lawyer of " Ilim Pulp Enterprise. "
Managed the assets of PSB shareholders Vladimir Kogan and David Traktovenko created in 1997 "Banking House" St. Petersburg "- a holding company, which included diverse enterprises, including agricultural, defense and chemical. In the mid-2000s, the St. Petersburg period of Kogan's career ended. Banks "St. Petersburg" and MBSP, which were part of the "Banking House", were sold to management, and Promstroibank was bought by VTB Bank for $ 577 million. During the following years, almost all other assets of the "Banking House" St. Petersburg "were sold: a package of the football club "Zenith", a network of cinemas "Kronverk", a leasing company "Baltic Leasing". According to Forbes, only on the sale of the largest assets Kogan and Traktovenko could earn more than $ 1 billion.
Having completed the sale of assets in St. Petersburg, Kogan formally became a middle-ranking official in the Ministry of Regional Development and was responsible for the construction of the so-called "Putin dam" in St. Petersburg. The construction depended on three key people: the Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak and the head of the Kremlin administration Sergei Naryshkin. With Kudrin and Kozak, Kogan made friends when they worked in the city hall. Co-worker Putin Naryshkin before moving to Moscow was headed by the department of external investments Promstroibank. "The plane Kogan worked as a taxi, drove, if someone from the great was necessary, practically for them it was their own side," recalls the participant of these flights. - Kogan showed himself to be super-lobist, his chances were good. "
How could the state building be interesting to Kogan? Directorate under his leadership distributed financial flows, including from the federal budget. The final estimate was twice as much as announced - 109 billion rubles, the Accounting Chamber said. In 2007-2009, Rosstroy signed 12 additional agreements to the contract for the construction of a navigable access facility, which was built by the St. Petersburg Metrostroy. As a result, the amount that the contractor was supposed to receive increased from 9.9 billion to 27.9 billion rubles.
Kogan links a long-standing relationship with this company: in the late 1990s, the St. Petersburg monopolist for the construction of the metro kept accounts in the PSB, and CEO Vadim Aleksandrov was on the board of directors of the bank. After the construction of the dam began at Metrostroi, a new minority shareholder emerged: 7.2% went to the nominal holding of the Baltic Financial Agency (BFA), the company that was part of the Banking House St. Petersburg. Among the dam's builders there were other enterprises connected either with the Kogan itself or with its business partners.
After work as an official, Kogan returned to business again. In 2010, Neftegazindustry, Vladimir Kogan, was acquired by Oleg Deripaska's structures for an estimated $ 300 million from the Afipsky refinery. In 2015, Kogan received a controlling stake in Bank Uralsib, he personally won the contest, which was held by the Central Bank, choosing a sanatorium for the bank.
But the main asset of Vladimir Kogan is the refinery, in 2017 the plant processed 6 million tons of oil. The total investment in the modernization of the Afipsky refinery exceeded 80 billion rubles. In the oil business, Kogan has partners Irak Iskhakov and Yuri Krymsky. According to Krymsky, there is a fourth beneficiary - former deputy chairman of the government, chairman of Sovcomflot's board of directors, Ilya Klebanov.
Last year, a conflict arose between Vladimir Kogan and his partners. The beginning of the conflict was a slight increase (up to 5%) in March 2017 of the effective shareholding of Neftegazindustria by Iskhakov and Krymsky through the purchase of one of the minorities. After this, Kogan increased its stake in Neftegazindustry from 52% to almost 75% as a result of the additional issue. Kogan's partners considered the additional issue illegal. The dispute between the shareholders could provoke a deal to sell a stake in the Afipsky refinery: Kogan sold a 25% stake to Dmitry Mazurov (New Stream group), while retaining control over the refinery.