Usmanov's entourage: how the billionaire manages people and assets

Who is included in the inner circle of the leader of Russia's Forbes list and why only a few earned his trust?
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For Alisher Usmanov last year was much more successful than many billionaires. Despite the difficult political background, №1 Russian Forbes list, continues to implement global projects. Even shares of American businessman Facebook and Apple began to go before the West imposed the first sanctions. As Usmanov takes business decisions and manages its companies?

Communication via the control

"Sometimes we call up once a day, sometimes fifty times", - says Ivan Streshinsky, CEO of USM Advisers. This structure makes recommendations for the development of all of the assets of Usmanov and his partners Farhad Moshiri and Andrei Skoch (its shares are recorded at his father, Vladimir Skoch).

Among the assets of the richest Russians, and the oldest in the Russian business newspaper "Kommersant", and the popular social network "VKontakte", and second in terms of revenue Internet holding Group, and fast-growing cellular operator "MegaFon", and the country's largest mining Metallurgical company "Metalloinvest". The operative management of such different asset Usmanov does not interfere. But to date init is happening.

According to Ivan Tavrina, general director of "MegaFon", with its owner in the office was only three times. "We Alisher Usmanov own system of understanding, everything was in order in the business. He can not ask questions for a long time, and then ask a little thing that surprised him to her interest, for example something about the base station device, - says Tavrin. - Do not know the answer, so do not hang out with those people who are in charge you for this process, soar in the clouds. That he does not like. "

In Usmanov's office, as they say managers are carefully folders digest analyst reports and articles in the media in each of the sectors - "Internet", "Metals", "Telecom". Particularly interesting notes billionaire sends key managers - for development. There is also a feedback. "The last I found interesting in the social network analysis of the relationship of the ruble, gold, oil and raw materials of cross-border flows and immediately threw" - says Streshinskiy.

Dmitry Grishin, co-founder and CEO of Group, notes thatSmanov well versed in the Internet. "And if some new technological ideas and does not understand, then captures them on the fly," - he said. In Usmanov technology investing since 2008 in partnership with Yuri Milner DST Global Fund through. Three years ago, they began to discuss a new direction - Asia. "In the US market warmed up, and growth investments, like we used to, 5-10 times will not. Now, interestingly, China and India "- Streshinskiy explains.

Stake worked in November Usmanov admitted in an interview with US television channel CNBC that the profitability of investments in the Chinese online retailer Alibaba has made more than 500%.

In addition to the investment in Alibaba, the online company and manufacturer Xiaomi low-cost smartphones, Usmanov found in China and other features - Hopu Fund is in talks about investing in Udokan (in the project is also ready to participate "Rostec", with the head of which Usmanov Sergey Chemezov friends with the late 1980s). Eastern ability to build relationships in China is very handy - with the Chairman of the Board of Directors Hopu Usmanov personally acquainted, and Ren Chzhenfey, FounderHuawei, a major supplier of equipment for the "Megaphone", went to see him at home during his visit to Moscow.

The Inner circle

In a relationship with billionaire key managers too much personal. Through headhunters to Usmanov is not satisfied. "It's such a family. There are no clear criteria by which a person can enter into it or out of it fall, - says Ivan Streshinsky. - With people who Usmanov does not trust, it will not work. "

Streshinskiy himself working on Usmanov since 2004, he felt "at home" five years ago. What does joining the inner circle? "He knows what is happening in my life, and I - that his" - succinctly explained Streshinskiy.

Before he started working for Alisher Usmanov, who had the opportunity to evaluate a manager in the business. Since 1994, he engaged in legal support Streshinskiy merchant transactions aluminum Vasily Anisimov. In particular, the documents prepared for the purchase of 13.4% Anglo-Dutch of Corus, which for the year has brought more than $ 600 million Usmanov and believe in his risky idea to investors, among them except Anisimovayli Andrey Skoch and future First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. After this transaction Anisimov joined with Usmanov's assets, and when Usmanov gained more weight in tandem Streshinskiy began to work on him. "Usmanov is important first and foremost loyalty management. Streshinskiy on experience with a proven Anisimov was a man, "- says the billionaire friend.

In late 2008, Usmanov chipped manager you can trust 100% on telecommunications. Large shareholders of "Megaphone" - Usmanov structure Scandinavian TeliaSonera and "Alfa Group" - were under a corporate conflict. Usmanov persuaded of TeliaSonera "friends" against the "Alfa Group", but soon the Scandinavians to the side holding Mikhail Fridman, offering to combine assets with Turkish Turkcell. Usmanov, this situation did not suit - TeliaSonera became the major shareholder of "Megaphone". Began litigation. Streshinskiy remembers how difficult it was to take into account many different interests Usmanov, according to him, always teaches managers to understand who he wants. And it is not like the courts.

"It's like a casino, it is not known who will win. A casino Usmanov does not play and never played, "- says Streshinskiy.

As a result, control of "MegaFon" Usmanov went, with good relations with Friedman preserved.

Trust managers expressed in the fact that Usmanov gives them the right to act at their own risk. So it was, for example, in the transaction for the purchase of "Skartel» (Yota operator). In 2011, "Megafon", MTS and "Vympelcom" and "Rostelecom" agreed to work together on the capacities of the Yota, but the partnership fell apart. Streshinskiy offered to buy the Yota, assuming that this will give impetus to the development of "Megaphone". "Share of voice falls, the data transmission is growing. To avoid becoming a pure infrastructure like water supply system, "Megaphone" it is necessary to develop, experiment with different business models. Yota to this ideal. We must give the subscriber something for which he is willing to pay, "- describes the concept Streshinskiy.

The debate within the team was delayed for a year. Usmanov worried one - when will be repaid. But their agreement, he still gave. And even met osnovatfirs "Skartel" Sergei Adonevym and Albert Avdolyanom to discuss the main parameters of the deal. As a result, the parties established holding Garsdale: Adoniev and Albert Avdolyan have all the action "Skartel" Usmanov - half of "Megaphone".

The technological advantage, which was counting on Streshinskiy quickly dropped - competitors are building their infrastructure. The team is almost completely replaced - the two cultures did not get along with each other. As a result, "Skartel" became part of "Megaphone". In August 2014 it took restart Yota - the operator is positioned as a cost-effective solution for those who use the Internet on smartphones and tablets (with a margin of subscribers is higher than voice).

Chapter USM Advisers recognize that the purchase has not yet paid off. But, as says the top manager of one of the telecommunication companies, the transaction Usmanov was hurt, quite the contrary.

"Skartel" was estimated at $ 1.5 billion including debt. Buy assets at Garsdale. If resale "MegaFon" in 2013, the billionaire and his partners were to receive $ 1.67 billion. "They pumped asset through a partnership with"MegaFon", the transaction took place largely at the expense of minority shareholders and TeliaSonera », - he says Forbes said. The fact that negotiations often leads Streshinskiy, he sees the eastern trick: "You can always say that the manager does not understand or does not it has promised. This gives some flexibility if Usmanov at some point in the transaction becomes unprofitable ".

Fast career

Ivan Tavrin rapidly entered the inner circle of billionaire №1. Five years ago, he came to Streshinskiy a proposal to combine their own television assets with assets of Usmanov. Streshinskiy idea of ​​32-year-old businessman was hooked, and Tavrin went to meet a billionaire.

At that time he owned the company "Media-1", which included three dozen regional TV stations. After a failed deal to merge with the American Disney (it did not approve FAS) Tavrin looked for other ways of development. Usmanov Channels Muz-TV 7 TV and broadcast in most cities, where were his station. The union would increase the scope and profitability of channels, in the midst of the crisis, it was important for any business, isadeyuschih unprofitable media.

The billionaire and the young entrepreneur went into the combined company (later dubbed YUTV) on a parity basis, which greatly surprised the market: Tavrina assets were worth much less. Usmanov also entrusted the management Tavrin.

Commenting on the Forbes these agreements two years ago, Usmanov has lucidly explained the logic: "If we consider that Tavrin not take anything for himself control, I think we did a good fair deal. I freed myself from the daily headache asset management. "

"Ivan said with Usmanov language which he understands," - says the media market participant familiar with the businessman. For the year Tavrin greatly cut costs and increased revenues in 2010, Muz-TV 7 TV and earned 2.6 billion rubles (the same amount earned before two years). Assessing the potential Tavrina as a manager, in spring 2011 Usmanov introduced him to the board of directors, and in the summer sent to resolve a conflict with its most tumultuous asset - social network "VKontakte". would like to increase its stake in the social network, to which the head of "VKontakte" Pavel Durov publiclyTwet obscene gesture.

In the first meeting with Tavrin Durov we talked for seven o'clock - Durov assaults on not stopped, but the conversation was not in vain.

When Durov decided to sell its stake in "VKontakte", the buyer was "his friend" Ivan Tavrin.

In October 2011, Tavrin still made a deal with Disney. Over 49% of the shares YUTV Disney paid $ 300 million He did not deny that Usmanov's involvement in the deal played a crucial role -. No coincidence that before the announcement of the transaction Usmanov, Tavrin and CEO of Walt Disney Co Bob Iger met with Vladimir Putin. "Partnering with a company that owns a Tavrin - this one alignment, and a partnership with a person with vast experience and reputation, which assured the authorities - is very different. This was crucial for the Disney », - said a top manager. Immediately after the transaction Usmanov, he frankly admitted that further engage teleaktivami he was not interested, but if it is needed somewhere else, it is agreed in advance.

Usmanov Tavrin handy very soon. In December, the publishing house "Kommersant", owned by Millirderu, there was a scandal because of the publication in the journal "Power" and the question of dismissal of several top managers. Usmanov asked Tavrina watch over this process.

From the point of view of the "Kommersant" business can not be compared with other assets of the billionaire. Revenue PH is 2.8 billion rubles, profit - 80 million on the background of, whose revenue is 10 times more (27 billion rubles), or "Megafon", which is already more than two orders of magnitude (297 billion rubles), is. attention to the publishing business seems excessive.

Why "Kommersant" has become so important?

This is a risky, complex asset both in terms of policy and in terms of the business relationship. Demyan Kudryavtsev, who retired from the post of general director of "b" shortly after the scandal with the "power", says Usmanov sometimes called to complain, "Alisher, I wrote about your stuff." Usmanov is sometimes conveyed these complaints to the editor, but the first five years, heard the counterarguments and administrative decisions are not taken. Before history with the "power" - an insult to the president he regarded as going beyond the permittednnogo ( "These materials border on petty hooliganism," said Usmanov then).

Why Usmanov handed "Kommersant" in the management of people who had nothing to do with journalism? "It was important that the ship is not sunk, - explains Kudryavtsev. - There are two ways: to put the person who has the authority, and the man who gave the pistol. We felt that the time to gain credibility there. " Most likely, it worked and another reason: it was necessary to transfer the person to a publishing house, which will not allow the "hooliganism".

Tavrin, thinking business categories, took the "Kommersant", living under other laws as social work. "I was interested in the success of the publishing house only for the reason that it belonged to a person close to me," - says a top manager.

As requested Usmanov, he led the company's board of directors, but offered to put at the head of the publishing house Dmitry Sergeyev - his classmate and partner to whom he had previously handed over control holding YUTV. Billionaire trusted his advicei. "I quickly agreed, I can not imagine a situation in which I could refuse: a) Usmanov, b) on the designation" - said Sergeyev in an interview with Forbes.

A Tavrin already immersed in the affairs of "Megaphone". Streshinskiy recalls that Tavrina put on the "Megaphone" has offered Sergey Soldatenkov, who led the company for almost 10 years. The idea was supported by Usmanov. Does Tavrin in the so-called inner circle Usmanov?

He himself refused to answer this question, but Streshinskiy and Sergeev think so.

Asked whether Usmanov is engaged in cultivation of their managers, Tavrin meets both the ordinance, "Alisher Usmanov wants to make the world around him better and does not get tired to do it."

They are seen often, and not only discuss work issues. According Tavrina, Usmanov is always ready to give him advice on personal business matters (it does not prohibit the managers have their own projects).

It became Tavrin transitional link in the transmission of Pavel Durov package in the hands of USM. He himself, however, said that the purchase of 12% shares of "VKontakte" in winter 2014 was conscious invements. "We have not discussed all the details of the deal - says Tavrin and he adds: - But in any case I would have done in this situation as you would think is right, Alisher Usmanov."

His and not your own

Interests Usmanov in "VKontakte" represented already Dmitry Sergeev. He is also a special personal relationship with the owner of the company. For example, when Sergeyev had health problems, Usmanov has helped with the choice of doctors, one of the first call after the operation. "I'm such a people wide soul no longer met" - recognizes Sergeev.

He came to the post of executive director of the social networks in the midst of conflict and the UCP Fund, owning 48% of shares, and former top executives - Igor and Ilya Perekop, who insisted on the payment of "golden parachutes". The court found that the signatures of the founder of "VKontakte" Pavel Durov on the documents submitted by them were false, then they not only abandoned the "parachute", and reimbursed expenses earmarked proud Sergeev. compensation payments he has made, and from Durov that he lived at the expense of the company inW. expensive hotel

Conflict with UCP resolves itself Usmanov. According to Forbes source close to the UCP, it is the billionaire had initiated a series of negotiations that resulted in Group consolidated 100% "VKontakte" Pavel Durov got full control over the project Telegram, UCP and sold his stake in the social network with a profit.

At the request of Forbes about Usmanov Durov erupted in dithyramb Telegram: «This man is uniquely combines broad vision, business acumen and integrity." In Usmanov environment, considers Durov gifted and communicate with him before for a few hours to understand how the Internet, saying that the billionaire was not happy with the PR, the expanded Durov after leaving the post of director general. But relations have survived - Durov Usmanov visited in the summer in Sardinia, congratulated his wife Irina Viner birthday.

Battle for margin

On the "Metalloinvest", thanks to which became a billionaire Alisher Usmanov, now accounts for only one-third of its state: new businesses were growing rapidly, and world iron ore prices are falling - in 2014 boLeia than 40%. Coping with the challenges to be yet another manager from the inner circle, Andrew Varichevu autumn 2013 vozglavlavivshemu MC "Metalloinvest".

Previously, he worked Varichev Oleg Deripaska at the Orsk-Khalilov mill (now the "Ural Steel"). Becoming the owner of 50% of the company, Usmanov spring of 2003 invited key managers to explore. "Surprisingly, we heard a critically-mentoring and kind words", - says Varichev. Soon Usmanov bought the whole company. After the purchase of Mikhailovsky GOK Varichev became its CEO. A few years later Usmanov entrusted him with all the mining and metallurgical direction.

However, for the first time Varichev stayed as head of the holding only six months. In 2008, "Metalloinvest" bought the license to develop Udokan and Varichev headed by Baikal Mining Company created under this ambitious project (capex is estimated at $ 6 billion).

While Varichev Udokan engaged in "Metalloinvest" twice replaced the general director, trying to cope with the consequences of the 2008 crisis. But for new challengesuchshe suitable certified manager.

In 2014, "Metalloinvest" launched projects pending in crisis - Lebedinsky GOK began construction of a third plant for the production of hot briquetted iron (the company's most profitable product). The share of large contracts - steel used in the construction of the bridge on the Russian island, bridges in Novosibirsk and Nizhny Novgorod, most of the Olympic venues.

"If Usmanov sees interesting business, he puts to his people, he begins to develop. He explains them obscene way: "Here we shandarahnem, here ..." His quick understanding ", - tells the familiar Usmanov.

Big family

On the style of communication Alisher Usmanov and loyal managers and outsiders respond the same way: the press. "He often" Challenge "in communication, sometimes specifically", - says Streshinskiy. According to him, the shareholder conflict provokes discussion, to hear all positions, all the arguments. In the Internet get-together, which communicates with a billionaire running joke that the most PLNostnye trolls social networks "VKontakte" not moved up fifty levels in comparison with the one hundredth level Usmanov.

"He oriental type of control, he recognizes only the unconditional surrender - says the source Forbes, who participated in the negotiations with Usmanov. - If you do not get used, it is impossible to grow. Streshinskiy Tavrin and adapted, they have earned their positions. "

The former manager of one of the structures Usmanov interprets differently: "It is rather the relationship between father and sons that can do harm and shit, his father could beat. But he respected. "

Streshinskiy to the question of whether the once to go to work somewhere else, sincerely replied: "I do not imagine myself, do not want to."

Businessman, discusses one joint project with Usmanov, notes that the submission in USM system helps to avoid unnecessary meetings, "Usmanov eventually always make the right decisions, the bill - on the scoreboard."