Restorer of the Kremlin: who and what helps Victor Smirnov to get state contracts

Petersburg company Intarsia restored the Kremlin and a church in the village of Putin's parents. This business is so successful that Boris Rotenberg became its co-owner. What is the phenomenon of Intarsia?
Origin source
Summary states that the applicant - a handyman, and his company "Intarsia" from St. Petersburg is able to give odds to the best restorers of the capital. "Quite frankly, I lied - Victor Smirnov remembers. - Wrote that in addition to the restoration of furniture, we have molding, gilding and painting. " Summary he sent not to someone, and Sergey Plekhanov headed FSUE "Resma", which was founded on the basis of VO "Soyuzrestavratsiya" who carried out the work in 1994 in the Kremlin. In fact, the young supplier Smirnov, together with co-founder "Intarsia" Alexander Korotetskiy engaged in the restoration of furniture, surrounded the restaurants and casinos, but 20 years ago he was fascinated by large architectural forms. For the sake of their restoration Smirnov was ready to send indiscreet job, working at a construction site foreman, and even share the business.

As a result, he created one of the largest construction and restoration of the country holding companies with revenues of more than 10 billion rubles. "Intarsia" called close to former Russian President Vladimir Kozhin affairs manager, and a year ago surrendered control Smirnov in his construction businessholding billionaire Boris Rotenberg. What role did these influential people in the life of Smirnov and his company?

Moscow Siege

"Bring 50 plasterers and 50 modelers, and then we'll see ... And the ten roofers do not forget" - ordered Plekhanov, Smirnov invited to Moscow for talks. For a recent graduate of MISA, a specialist in industrial and civil construction, it was a rare chance. A month later, Smirnov brought to the Kremlin subcontracting "Resmy" the best specialists of St. Petersburg. Plekhanov was pleased and became Smirnov not only customer. "Under his leadership, I learned restorative case and consider him a friend," - says Smirnov, communicate with Plekhanov until his death in 2005.

By the end of 1994 on the restoration of the first housing Kremlin worked about 400 Petrograd, all on-site work of restorers 3500. "They made the roof and the main dome, sculpture, interior decoration. And after these works were fixed in Moscow ", - says Smirnov. He is convinced that the restoration of the St. Petersburg school - the best in the country. "In Peterburn Restoration very strong community, "- according to the Moscow architect-restorer Valentina Fedotova.

In the mid-1990s, "Intarsia" has received orders for the restoration of the Moscow Zoo and the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. In the temple, made of carved iconostasis, facing the south facade and painting and plastering of the lower church. In 1997 we restored the Kremlin walls and towers, then the Armory, Grand Kremlin Palace, and the 14th Corps of the Moscow Kremlin.

A few years Smirnov lived in Moscow almost constantly, until I saw the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1997, the building in the woods. Then he came to power governor Vladimir Yakovlev, and the city began a large restoration.

A couple of years at the expense of patrons "Intarsia" refurbished vCard Petersburg - Rostral columns and horses sculptor Peter Klodt on Anichkov Bridge.

Money provided Baltonexim Bank, the amount was small - about $ 1.5 million, but the project had a big impact.

The official event to mark the opening of the composition with horses Jacobs Smirnov personally wished to further develop Restoration business in St. Petersburg. "Ruined city forever," as he called Smirnov, preparing for the 300th anniversary and was covered with stunning conservator of forests.

Sturm Strelna

In March 2000, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected at the entrance to the Mariinsky British counterpart Tony Blair and his wife, when he was approached by a young gradozaschitniki. It was the head of the district department of the All-Russian Society for Protection of Monuments Anton Ivanov. Public men chipped in and bought him a ticket to the opera "War and Peace", to save it persuaded Putin destroys the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna. Ivanov began to show the premiere reference and pictures, we see that the monument should be revived.

Also in 2000, Putin became president and decided to hold the summit Russia - EU in the framework of the celebration of the anniversary of the northern capital in 2003. He remembered Ivanov and instructed the manager of Russian President Vladimir Kozhin to collect from large private companies money for the restoration of the Konstantinovsky Palace. Tax collector appointed Kozhinhis longtime protege Gennady Yavnik St. Petersburg, which was created by the CEO in early 2001, the Charity Fund "Constantine." Sam headed Kozhin Fund Board. He favored Yavnik in the early 2000s even tried to lobby for his appointment as head of the Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation, but CCI headed by Yevgeny Primakov.

Initially, the cost was estimated at $ 150 million, but officials then UDP doubled this amount, recognizing that underestimated the extent of the damage. After acceptance of the palace ensemble decided to further raise money for the completion of works, and as a result the amount rose to $ 340 million. The project is financed by "Rosneft", RAO UES, Sberbank, "Evrofinans" Alfa-Bank "Surgutneftegas", the Siemens "Megaphone" and "Transneft".

"It was a request from the Kremlin. And this kind, it was impossible to refuse ", - recognized representatives of sponsors.

The contract on the "Russian Versailles" was difficult, but prestigious, the facility worked dozens of construction and restoration companies. Despite the special status of the object, the time did not pay subcontractors. Theydemanded money from the fund, the fund nodded to the general contractor "Trust Sixteenth." "In order to pay people on time, Smirnov wrote to 20-percent stake in the" Intarsia "Yavnik because he represented the fund with the money. He promised that the delay in payment for the work will not be. But the delay was, had fallen to enjoy every penny to the account "- says a source close to the leadership" Intarsia ". Yavnik and Smirnov did not comment on it. Scope of "intarsia" work was $ 15 million.

After the completion of construction in Strelna Fund continued to collect money for charitable projects. The fund now supports churches and monasteries of the Russian Orthodox Church, restore architectural monuments of St. Petersburg, finances projects in the field of culture, health, education and sport, helps veterans' organizations of internal troops and veterans of the Komsomol.

Yavnik not only remained at the head of the fund, but later became one of its founders. Calculation Smirnova enlist his support appeared visionary. According to the only available financial statementsand in 2012, "Constantine" has accumulated 23 billion rubles. At the same time annual expenditure in 2011-2012 amounted to 6.4 billion rubles. Policy management of free cash in the Fund does not comment.

The largest philanthropist in the fund called the company "Transneft" - longtime leader of corporate philanthropy in Russia. Its spending on good causes in the fat years exceeded 7 billion rubles. In 2011, the company said it has provided 2.6 billion rubles "Konstantinovsky" for the construction of the research center of the Primorye Oceanarium in Vladivostok. Three years later, the project was in the center of the scandal. In late November 2014, he was arrested the general director of NPO "Mostovik" Oleg SHishov. The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation suspected him of fraudulently misappropriating 2 billion from 17.7 billion rubles, aimed at the construction of the oceanarium. Earlier in the same case detained the director of the subsidiary UDP RF "Directorate for construction in the Far Eastern Federal District" Andrew Poplavsky.

What is the present status of "Constantine" fund? Interests UDPRF Fund Board is currently one of the three persons - deputy manager of Presidential Affairs, co-founder of the fund Ivan Malyushin. Chairman of the Board of the Fund Kozhin was head of UDP, but in May 2014, Putin sent him into retirement (currently Kozhin - presidential adviser on military-technical cooperation). According to media reports, citing sources in the government and close to the Kremlin, Kozhin withdrew for "personal indiscretion and life on display", as well as carrying too noisy private celebrations. Kozhin and UDP press service did not respond to questions about Forbes.

Plasterers and patrons

In the 2000s, "Intarsia" has become one of the largest construction and restoration of holdings with 1,500 staff. Its name means the craft of inlay wood furniture, but after "Constantine," the company has become synonymous with large contracts. "Intarsia" refurbished dozens of architectural monuments of St. Petersburg. The group included management, restoration and construction companies, as well as architectural office.

By 2009, when the Group's revenue exceeded 2billion rubles, the list of restored buildings added three more objects UDP. It was subcontracted for the restoration of the Senate and Synod buildings, as well as general contract for the reconstruction of the Intercession Church in the homeland of Putin's parents in the village Turginovo Tver region. The third object - the reconstruction of the manor Lobanov-Rostovsky.

St. Petersburg's media began to write about the "Intarsia" as a company close to Kozhin. "Last Kozhin we can not help, business manager, I saw only on the objects and relationships, we did not", - says Smirnov. Yavnik company also did not help, although several times to receive dividends, said a source in the "Intarsia".

According to Smirnov, "Intarsia" increased due to the professionalism - no such experience in any of the contractor in Russia.

"Almost five hundred artists working in the company. No administrative resource will not perform work in the same extent that we can, "- he says and cites Kryukov barracks.

The main project of his life Smirnov calls the general contract for the restoration of the eastern wing of the building GlavnogStaff of the State Hermitage. "Every few years might be an interesting project which I myself participated as a superintendent. I work seven days a week from morning till night, and he does not belong. The General Staff is such a case - I went to this project 20 years "- said Smirnov. For this project, he was awarded the "Oscar" in real estate - a prestigious global award FIABCI Prix d'Excellence (Gold), which is awarded with the support of Wall Street Journal.

Annual revenues of the holding to the end of the decade exceeded 10 billion rubles. The total cost of the restoration of the General Staff in 2009-2013 amounted to 15 billion rubles, "Intarsia" fulfilled 90% of the work, its margin - 5.10%, the company says.

On the restoration of the eastern wing of the first line of the Main Staff "Intarsia" in 2008-2010 won the competition to 4.4 billion rubles. The contract for the second stage of the cost of 6.2 billion rubles, the company concluded without competition, and the final estimate could be increased. These facts testify to the presence of corruption features, said in 2013 the Accounts Chamber. Customers were Foundation for Investment Projects of St. Petersburg andInternational Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Their representatives said they did not see any violations and the contract was standard and competitors "Intarsia" could not pass the pre-qualification.

Smirnov, however, recognizes that lobbying in the restoration industry plays an important role. According to him, obtaining a large order of 50% depends on the professionalism and on 50% - from influential patrons.

"Professionalism is very important, but the contribution to the success and contribution to the victory in the preparation of public procurement is 95% dependent on the lobby", - said the head of the project office, working on the orders of the Moscow City Hall.

Smirnova have always had a good relationship with Smolny. For many years he was a friend of the former head of the Committee for State Control, Use and Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments of St. Petersburg Nikita Yavein whose "Studio 44" made the project for the General Staff. Another good friend - former first deputy KGIOP Alexey Komlev. Wife of ex-official Nadezhda owned architectural workshop "Studio" Rome. " Together with her Smirnov in 2009-2011 worked on redesign Trubetskoy Manor on Tchaikovsky Street, where "Intarsia" as a co-investor has received part of the premises as an office. Komlev was dismissed from his post in 2013, this time to "Intarsia" Group already got plenty of serious problems.

The ghosts of the house with the lions

In the past two years, "intarsia" pursue failure. The main source of trouble Smirnov considers a row Lobanov-Rostovsky mansion, known as the home of lions. In 2009 the company became the main contractor for its reconstruction under the hotel Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg (total costs exceeded $ 200 million). Project developer - the company "Tristar Investment Holdings" son of the head of Russian Railways Andrey Yakunin, control VIYM fund with assets of $ 1 billion.

"Tristar" has looked after a house with lions in 2001, and Governor Yakovlev signed a decree on the transfer of the company to reconstruct the monument into a hotel. However, it has settled down in the Design Institute (PI-1) has refused to move out. Then in 2003, the Russian government gave the order Smolny house for state needs UDP, which concludeda long term lease with the right to reconstruction "Tristar".

The hotel was opened in 2011, but opened its doors, including for the first persons of foreign states, only in 2013. Customer accused "Intarsia" in the delay of delivery of works by more than 400 days. A company representative said that the building passed into operation in 2011. According to him, the immediate preparation for the reception of visitors involved in the company "Tristar" and Contractors hired by it, and for the opening of the hotel "Intarsia" did not answer. Before "Intarsia" general contractor of the project was the Austrian Strabag. "Unfortunately, we were unable to agree on a reasonable price and terms of delivery of the hotel. We terminated the contract by mutual consent, without payment of a penalty, "- said Forbes company representative.

"Tristar" The company has demanded in court to recover from the "Intarsia" about 4 billion rubles in the form of fines, penalties and unused advance. The "Intarsia" is a counter lawsuit - a collection of 600 million rubles, which "Tristar" allegedly misappropriated using bank garantiyami restorer. Representatives of the "Intarsia" argue in court that all the work was performed, and advances spent. In the "Tristar" and VIYM they declined to comment.

The trial was not the only problem "Intarsia".

Even in 2011, a charitable foundation for the restoration of the Voskresensky New Jerusalem Monastery terminated with "Intarsia" general contractor agreement. Change in the general contractor "Baltstroy" because of delays advised the Ministry of Culture, said representative of the fund. The company said that the terms are not violated, and the contract was terminated by mutual agreement, as "Intarsia" considered it economically impractical.

Minority Gennady Yavnik went to court with a demand to "Intarsia" to provide him with all reporting and internal documentation for 20 years until the last check. The court ordered the company to provide Yavnik reporting, and she performed it, although earlier its representatives referred to the sudden flood, which destroyed the documents. Yavnik also challenged transaction "Intarsia » 400 million rubles to finance the construction of the restoration workshops. Smirnov believes that Yavnik engaged in corporate blackmail to sell its stake at an inflated price. Similar charges have Yavnik the family and the St. Petersburg businessman Eugene Voytenkova, founder of one of the largest car dealers from St. Petersburg SC "Olympus", its 10% which Yavnik passed Victoria's daughter. Yavnik did not comment on the situation.

In 2014, the number of lawsuits to grown from six to 36, "Intarsia", although about half did not take to the production for non-compliance Procedure Code. In September 2014 the Arbitration Court of the two false claim on behalf of the Group of Companies "Intarsia" for recognition of their bankrupt the management and restoration companies have been submitted. Smirnov did not know who they could apply.

The sharp decline in contracts, the charges once the account for payment guarantees endless litigation, claims the Chamber of Accounts and the emergence of aggressive competition may undermine any successful company. Moreover, they are dangerous for the restoration business, where a couple of times enough to fallout of the cage to lose their former positions forever. Smirnov knows this firsthand, because once the largest company "Resma", which ruled his friend Plekhanov, deprived director, quickly turned into a small player.

Looming whether "Intarsia" similar fate?

"In 2014," Intarsia "were orders from the Ministry of Defence", - said deputy general director of "Intarsia" Alexander Novikov. By order of the Main Directorate of arrangement of troops subordinate to the Ministry of Defense, the company will restore Konstantinovskoe school to move Suvorov Military School. In March 2014 "Intarsia" won the tender for the order worth 5 billion rubles, and then got two more small order. Prior to that, the Ministry of Defense with the company Smirnov did not cooperate.

In 2013, at the suggestion of Smirnov billionaire Boris Rotenberg 62 gained 75% in one of the structures of the holding - "Intarsia" construction company. His brother, too, and billionaire Arkady Rotenberg 27 belongs to the former Defense Ministry building management Stroyholding GVSU.

"KompanI was acquired for future projects ", - said the representative of Rotenberg. Smirnov relationship with Rotenberg declined to comment. Patron and partner at a level Smirnov still was not.