Top-10 children of officials successful in business 

Top-10 children of officials successful in business
Successful parents - Russian officials - usually supervise business-projects of their children Photo: The CrimeRussia

At the beginning of 2016 a bill, which suggested depriving children and wives of officials of the right to do their own business was introduced to the State Duma. The idea caused complaints from experts, however the intentions of the authors of the bill are clear – officials’ children often have a powerful advantage in the form of an administrative resource, they easily win competitions and conduct contract works by the state order. In other cases officials simply do family business, transferring assets to the offsprings. The CrimeRussia prepared top-10 of the most interesting business projects of children of the famous Russian officials. Places in our top list were distributed by two main criteria: level of a position, which is held by an official, and also the scale of business of their children and degree of its coherence with activities of their high-ranking parents.

10. Olga Gerasimova

Daughter of the State Duma Deputy from the Edinaya Rossiya (United Russia) party Evgeny Gerasimov.

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According to the anti-corruption center of Yabloko (Apple) party, Olga Gerasimova is a co-owner of the Moscow Souvenir Plus company (it possesses 30% of MS plus). The Moscow Souvenir Plus company got the greatest popularity in the spring of 2016. Then Moscow citizens and guests of the capital were shocked by the decorations, installed on the central city streets within the Moscow Spring festival. Among the most scandalous objects - 4-meter policeman Dyadya Stepa on Rozhdestvenka Street, 5-meter basket with an easter cake and colored eggs on Arbat Street, palm trees near the Bolshoi Theatre and finally huge green head at Pushkin Square.

It appeared that Moscow Souvenir Plus was the only participant of tender on holding the Moscow Spring festival. Contract value constituted 187,2 million rubles. Starting from 2014 the company began to win competitions of the capital City Hall extremely successfully. In the last two years the Department of trade and services of Moscow and State Unitary Enterprise Moskovskoye Imushchestvo carried out 11 purchases on the organization of city holidays. In 10 cases the winner (and the only participant) was MS plus. In only two years the firm received over 1 billion rubles from city budget.

According to Yabloko party, one of the founders of MS plus is Olga Gennadyevna Gerasimova. However, the Deputy of the Moscow City Council Evgeny Gerasimov denies participation of his daughter in the multimillion contract. In his comment to Business.FM he noted that if his daughter participated in decoration of the capital, she would have consulted with him “how and what to do”. “Olga, as I know, maybe used to be related to this company, but not anymore, I think. I do not interfere in my daughter’s affairs, but the fact that she has no relation to it today, is absolute precise” – the Deputy assured journalists.

It is curious that the scandal with multimillion declarations burst at the end of April, and on May 11, 2016 the charter of MS plus experienced some changes - in the new edition of the document the unique founder of the company was only one of three former founders − Arkady Khachaturian.

9. Vladimir Khristenko

Son of the former Head of the Ministry of industry and trade, current Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian economic Commission Viktor Khristenko.

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Vladimir Khristenko could rightfully be attributed to the golden children of influential Russian officials. The graduate of the Higher School of Economics (HSE) started his career on Chelyabinsk Tube Rolling Plant (CTRP). In 2006 the 25-year-old economist was appointed to a post of the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the first foreign asset of CTRP. In 2007−2011 Vladimir Khristenko worked as CEO of the Rimera company (management of oilfield service assets of CTRP). In 2011 when Khristenko Sr. left the Ministry and headed the Euroasian economic commission, his son Vladimir Khristenko left the Rimera company and headed projects of CTRP on a construction of golf fields. It provoked talks about connection of Khristenko Jr. career with activities of his father. The new field of Vladimir Khristenko was connected with activities of his family. Mass media reported that Khristenko Jr. went to work into the largest pharmaceutical holding Pharmstandard, which belongs to old friend of Victor Khristenko and his spouse Tatyana Golikova − Victor Haritonin.

Today Victor Khristenko is the President of Nanolek pharmaceutical company. According to the Vedomosti newspaper, since 2012 he together with Mikhail Nekrasov (Epibiomed Group) owns 50,01% of the company.

Also, according to media, Vladimir Khristenko is one of co-investors and owner of Subway fast food restaurants' network.

8. Aleksey and Aleksander Merkushkins

Sons of the former President of Mordovia and the current Governor of the Samara Region Nikolay Merkushkin.

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The eldest son of the ex-Head of Mordovia Aleksander Merkushkin is a founder and manager of the Masloprodukt plant. According to the Uniform State Register of Legal Entities (USRLE), Aleksander Merkushkin owns 66,3% of shares of the entity, which in particular owns 71% of Saransky cannery plant, 18% of Atemarskaya Poultry Farm, and also share blocks in some other the companies.

As for the younger son of the Governor Aleksey Merkushkin since 2012 holds posts of the Minister of target programs of the Republic and the Deputy Prime Minister of Mordovia, who is also responsible for preparation works before the FIFA World Cup, which will take place in the Republic. Mordovtsement, where Nikolay Merkushkin's brother, Aleksander and his son Sergey have a share, can help with a construction of necessary objects. Besides, Aleksey Merkushkin was a CEO of Lamzur confectionery and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of commercial bank Mordovpromstroybank.

It should be noted that the entrepreneurial vein is distinctive feature of family of the governor of the Samara region Nikolay Merkushkin – all male part of the Merkushkin’s clan is successfully engaged in business or holds high state posts.

Elder brother of Nikolay Merkushkin – Aleksander − had shares of 5 largest Mordovian entities: 100% of OJSC Saranskstroyzakazchik (is engaged in construction of the construction objects financed from federal and republican budgets), 45% of shares of JSC Mordovtsement, 80% of shares of Mordovgrazhdanproyekt design institute and 30% of shares of JSC Mordovspirt as the Chairman of the Board of Directors Active-bank.

Other relatives of the former Head of Mordovia, namely his younger brother and cousin also owned shares in OJSC Mordovnefteprodukt.

7. Andrey Murov

Son of the former Head of the Federal Guard Service General Evgeny Murov.

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Son of recently dismissed Evgeny Murov, Andrey Murov, since 2013 is known more as the Chairman of the Board of the Federal grid company of the unified power system.

In the first half of the 90s he worked in City Bar of St. Petersburg, then went to business. Directed the Evrostroykomplekt Company, which worked at construction sub contractings of St. Petersburg Vodokanal. Then he founded ISK Petrostroy, Sigma company and Investment and construction group company.

From 2004 to 2012 he worked at the Pulkovo airport. He started as the Deputy Director General of Pulkovo Federal State Unitary Air Enterprise airline. In 2006 the airline was closed, he went to work directly in the airport, where he became the CEO of JSC Pulkovo Airport. In July, 2012 came to OJSC FGC UES to a position of the first Deputy Chairman of the Board. In 2013 he was elected the Chairman of the Board of PJSC FGC UES. In 2014 also became a member of the Board of Directors of OJSC Inter RAO.

Connection of business of Murov Jr. with activities of his father is interesting.

It is curious that Evgeny's father – Andrey Murov actively interacted with influential businessman, the round-the-clock Governor of St. Petersburg Dmitry Mikhalchenko. Baltstroy company, which is part of the Mikhalchenko’s Forum company regularly received profitable construction contracts from the Federal Guard Service (FGS) through his business partner, the former employee of the Federal Security Service and friend of Murov - Nikolay Negodov.

At the end of March of this year Mikhalchenko was detained on a charge of smuggling and two months later Evgeny Murov was relieved of his duties. According to operational data, three channels of illegal deliveries of goods operated on the Northwest. Security officers found their traces in the ports of Ust-Luga and Bronka, and also at the Pulkovo airport. As it was mentioned earlier, Evgeny Murov worked at an executive position in Pulkovo. Apparently, Murov Jr. was connected with Mikhalchenko. At least, in 2014 Mikhalchenko signed with Murov Jr. (as the Head of the Federal grid company) preliminary agreement on financing the construction of the transformer substation (PS) Lomonosov.

According to the last published data on the income (for 2015), Andrey Murov is an owner of 7 parcels of land (with a total area of 14 352 sq.m), 5 houses (nearly 3 thousand sq.m), 4 apartments (847 sq.m) and 4 cars. In a year he earned more than 80 million rubles (from them more than 51 were from awards). And this is at the time, when the company actually did not execute Vladimir Putin's order on input of the fourth line of the power bridge to the Crimea. Because of FGC UES the line was put into operation with delay for a year. After that the controlling structures became interested in business contacts of Andrey Murov.

In 2014 the Audit Chamber discovered inappropriate expenditure of FGC UES and increasing of the cost of construction of objects. At the same time indicators of investment programs on input of new objects were not carried out regularly. Here are only some of examples: the cost of transformers for substation in 500 kV Cascade was overstated by 300%, a yacht was purchased for FGC MES Yuga, purchase of bills of exchange of Bank Rossiya cost 2 billion rubles, and for 29 billion rubles on payments of 2010−2011 there is no financial documentation at all. At the same time remunerations to board members of the FGC in 2010−2013 grew almost by 3 times – to 505 million rubles.

6. Sergey Ivanov Jr.

Son of the ex-Head of the Russian President Administration Sergey Ivanov.

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He was born in 1980 in Moscow. Since March 2016 he works as the senior Vice-President of Sberbank. Having ended MGIMO in 2002, he started a labor activity as leading expert of the Department of investment attraction of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Gosincor. Then he supervised the international projects of Gazprom. Sergey Ivanov Jr. passed a way from an assistant to the Chairman of the Board to the Vice-President of the Board in Gazprombank.

In 2011−2016 he headed Gazprom structure Sogaz. He considers that he achieved everything by himself. In particular, in March, 2012 in an interview to the Vedomosti newspaper he declared: “I am proud of the fact that a lot in my career I achieved myself, and I believe that in our country it is absolutely possible if you follow a certain philosophy and vital rules. I saw many people who started to work in 2003 with me in a bank and in large Russian companies, without any support grew to large heads. Therefore with a good education, good base and the right attitude to life in Russia you can always find a field of activity. Of course, many people helped me in recent years, but my father was not among them, he could only help me with advice. It was always possible to consult him both on work, and on some life situation, and, of course, it was invaluable”.

Perhaps, the proximity to Gazprom predetermined financial preferences of Ivanov Jr. In due time he made a profitable investment, purchasing a share block of the company in the amount of 0,014% and becoming owner of 48,7 billion rubles (in case of present average price in 147 rubles for 1 share).

5. Sergey Matviyenko

Son of the former Governor of St. Petersburg, the current spokesman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko.

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Sergey Matviyenko - famous Russian businessman, billionaire, investor. It would seem, one could only be surprised to enterprise and talent of son of Valentina Matviyenko - for short term and without the start capital he managed to earn millions. On the other hand, some experts noted that in Matviyenko's business was not conducted without connection of a powerful administrative resource, including – servicing of state orders. Clarity concerning Sergey Matviyenko’s talents came in 2011: with Valentina Matviyenko's leaving from a post of the Governor of St. Petersburg business of her only son Sergey reeled together with statement about his entrepreneurial endowments.

According to the Business St. Petersburg newspaper, since 2006 Sergey Matviyenko is CEO of subsidiary developer of VTB Group of VTB-Development, directed such delicious projects as Naberzhnaya Evropy and Nevskaya Ratusha. As a private investor Sergey Matviyenko is an owner of CJSC Imperiya. This company was created in the same 2003 when Valentina Matviyenko was chosen on a post of the Governor of St. Petersburg.

According to the rating of the Finance magazine, in 2011 Sergey Matviyenko was included into the list of 500 Russian billionaires (its equity was estimated at 4,9 billion rubles). The entrepreneur owned the companies, which conducted activities in spheres of construction, cleaning, media, transport and trade.

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After in 2011 Valentina Matviyenko left a post of the Governor of St. Petersburg, Sergey Matviyenko’s company Imperia Farma in 2012 was forced to get into debt, taking about 2 billion rubles of short-term loans and about 3 billion of long-term. Then it turned out that the retail pharmaceutical business, which was bringing in more than a half of incomes of the company, was not such profitable. In 2015 Imperia Farma began active restructuring of business. In May the company was renamed into TD Pharmacy, in June process of its liquidation started.

According to Delovoy St. Petersburg, another company of Sergey Matviyenko – Babylon -  was in debt without paying Lenenergo 60 million rubles for connection to the power supply network.

It is also known that Sergey Matviyenko was one of cofounders of the Barvikha-4 and Razdory-City companies connected with a family of the governor of MO Aleksey Vorobyov. The fact that, according to Delovoy St. Petersburg, Sergey Matviyenko gave the house in the Moscow Region to the Governor's mother, Lyudmila Vorobyova, which is in fact used by the Head of the Region. Media does not report about the donation reasons, there are also no details about a present condition of Sergey Matviyenko’s business - with Valentina Matviyenko's transition to a post of the speaker of the Federation Council, the publications about her son in media practically disappeared.

4. Dmitry Patrushev    

Son of the secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, the former Head of the FSB Nikolay Patrushev.

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Eldest son of Nikolay Patrushev, Dmitry, has a long and successful career in the bank sphere. Within 6 years he worked in VTB, then left the bank in 2010, resigning from the post of senior vice-president. The same year Dmitry received a post of the Chairman of the Board in Rosselkhozbank, and in November, 2012 the State Duma approved increase in the equity of the Rosselkhozbank by 40 billion rubles. In January, 2016 the Association of Russian Banks named him “the banker of year”.

In November, 2016 it became known that Dmitry Patrushev bought shares of Gazprom. Follows from the message of the company, the size of Patrushev’s share in the authorized capital of the company constituted 0,000194309%. Share value made 6,76 million rubles. At the same time the majority of the shares (on the amount of 6,44 million rubles) was purchased in July of this year. Other 320 thousand rubles were invested in shares in August. It is interesting that Gazprom learned about the financial transaction only recently – on November 10.

3. Vladimir Kiriyenko

Son of the first Deputy Chief of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation Sergey Kiriyenko.

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The career of Sergey Kiriyenko’s son developed promptly. In 2002, when Vladimir Kiriyenko was still a student of the Higher School of Economics, his declared income already exceeded $5 million a year. According to Forbes’ sources, when Vladimir Kiriyenko turned 20 years, all business assets of the family was transferred to him. In 2005−2011 Vladimir held post of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Volga TV company and also the member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of OJSC JSB Sarovbusinessbank. In 2008-2011 headed the Board of Directors of Nizhegorodpromstroybank. According to USRLE data, at the same time Kiriyenko was a co-owner of all the listed companies. In 2011 Kiriyenko Jr. headed the Board of Directors of the Capital company which, according to Forbes, manages all business of the Kiriyenko’s family.

The Forbes magazine estimated private investments of Vladimir Kiriyenko (a share at plants and entities) in 2015 at $50 million.

According to the magazine, Vladimir Kiriyenko is a co-investor of Titanium Investments fund, which he founded together with Aleksander Ayvazov in 2013 (seed capital constituted $47,8 million). According to Ayvazov, the major part of investments in opening of fund was input by Kiriyenko Jr., he received this money from successful sale of shares in Sarovbusinessbank. The fund invests in hi-tech startups: services of electronic commerce Cloudpayments, online broadcast of sporting events 365score, a mobile application with news Drippler. The most known project of this fund in Russia – Online Factory.

According to some information, Vladimir Kiriyenko is also interested in the sphere of a commercial real estate. According to information of Forbes, Vladimir Kiriyenko owns projects in Moscow and Moscow area (with shares from 5% to 20%). However, after scandal with investment of funds of the companies of Rosatom in Sarovbusinessbank a considerable part of assets of Kiriyenko Jr. was registered to his friend from Higher School of Economics Robert Gndolyan. A friend of Kiriyenko is also a happy owner of the microfinancial organization Zhivye Dengi (about 50 offices), participates in projects with Winnie network of shopping centers for children, Gaucho and Bocconcino restaurants. Other assets also registered to Gndolyan - real estate in the Spanish city of Zhirona and 24-meter Titanium yacht.

Some facts in development of Kiriyenko Jr.’s career suggest an idea of close ties between business of the son and career of his father. For example, from the moment of Sergey Kiriyenko's appointment to Rosatom, assets of the Nizhny Novgorod bank Sarovbusinessbank grew from 6 to 34 billion rubles. Office of the Capital company, which is owned by Kiriyenko Jr., is located on Big Ordynka, 67 (where, only in 500 meters there is a representative office of Rosatom). Recently there appeared one more confirmation - some days before Sergey Kiriyenko's appointment to the post of the first Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration, banker Vladimir Kiriyenko was appointed the senior Vice-President for development and management of Rostelecom. The appointment became a surprise even for Rostelecom.

2. Aleksander Kolokoltsev

Son of the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation Vladimir Kolokoltsev.    

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Versatile business interests of the son of the Interior Minister became known after the publication of investigation of the Vedomosti newspaper in February, 2016. According to data of media, 33-year-old Aleksander Kolokoltsev managed to be an employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and to retrain from law enforcement to entrepreneur. According to SPARK base, it possesses 33,4% of shares in the Il Forno company which develops network of the Italian restaurants Il Forno. Also, Vedomosti wrote, Kolokoltsev Jr. conducts joint projects with David Stepanyan, the President of the Stinkom group company, which also built shopping center Yerevan Plaza.

Due to fast dynamics of development of projects of the company a number of media already called Aleksander Kolokoltsev a potential candidate in the Forbes list.

Kolokoltsev Jr. possesses 40% of the Fun Box company, which designs websites and mobile applications for operators. For example, the company was engaged in creation of the dating site dating-fun.ru, which passed to MTS now.

In 2014 Aleksander Kolokoltsev together with Stepanyan became a co-owner of Stena company, which is engaged in real estate transactions. The organization is located at the address of the Yerevan Plaza center. In 2015 the son of the Interior Minister of the Russian Federation received a quarter of shares of one more company – Strela, which is registered to the address of friendly to Kolokoltsev Stinkom group organization. It is interesting that Ashot Aslanyan, who also headed Stinkom-invest, headed both Stena and Strela. In this regard it is interesting to remind of the following episode. In 2011 the capital administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs started investigation of criminal case concerning the ex-prefect of Southern Administrative District of Moscow Yury Bulanov. Investigating officer Gennady Udunyan suspected that the prefect was related to money laundering which could pass through accounts department of Yerevan plaza. It was followed by searches in a director's office of the Stinkom group company. However soon the case went quite - searches at Stepanyan’s place were acknowledged illegal, and investigating officer Udunyan was dismissed.

According to Vedomosti, Kolokoltsev Jr. may be connected with Alpha Grant hauler which won in tender on servicing of 12 routes in Moscow. The matter is that, according to SPARK, CEO of the company is Mark Rakhmanin who at the same time directs the Burger Street M company (develops network of fast food restaurants). 50% of the company belongs to the Interior Minister's son Aleksander Kolokoltsev.

1. Artem and Igor Chaikas

Sons of the Prosecutor General of Russia Yury Chayka.  

Finally, the first place in the CrimeRussia’s TOP-10 is taken by sons of the Prosecutor General of Russia, businessmen Artem and Igor Chaika. This is not surprising.

Артем Чайка (в центре)

Eldest son of the Prosecutor Artem Chaika firmly established himself in the business. However, not from his best side. In 1999 Artem Chaika tried to provide an alibi to his friends and security guards, who were suspected of racketing. Outrageousness of the story was provided by the fact that Syzyr Chumakov and Ibrahim Evloyev were members of the Ingush organized criminal grouping. After attempts to close the case, in 2000 Chumakov and Evloyev were sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment for racketing of 60 thousand dollars and robbery by the Odintsovo city court. In this story connection of criminal case with Yury Chaika is interesting. In July, 1999 Yury Chaika retired from a post of the Acting General Prosecutor, on the next day the Deputy Prosecutor of the Moscow Region approved the indictment in the case of Chumakov and Evloyev.

The unprecedented public attention was drawn to business of the Prosecutor General’s family in December, 2015. FBK published investigation according to which eldest son of the prosecutor Artem Chaika together with ex-wife of the Deputy Prosecutor General Olga Lopatina is a co-owner of an elite hotel in Greece and a luxury villa in Switzerland. According to information of FBK, the 38-year-old son of the Prosecutor General managed to create the business empire, which revenue constitutes at least $200 million. Artem Chaika owns fields of salt, mine, stone quarry and even shipping company on Baikal.

In January 2014, eldest son of the Prosecutor General became the unique founder of the Siberian Element — Renta-K company which delivers sand, crushed stone and gravel in the Kaluga, Yaroslavl, Tver and Moscow Regions. As Forbes wrote, the company insists that “it is the other Chaika”, despite the coincidence of the INN and the name of the businessman's mother among the former owners of the company.

In February 2014, Artem Chaika also became unique owner of the nonmetallic company Berdyaush. This little-known company from the Chelyabinsk Region purchased the controlling stake of subsidiary of the Russian Railway, the largest supplier of crushed stone of The First Nonmetallic Company in June, 2014, bypassing the leader of the industry the National Nonmetallic Company of Yury Zhukov.

Artem Chaika is also called the beneficiary of the largest Siberian manufacturer of salt - Tyretsky solerudnik. This organization managed to win a license for the right to produce rock salt in the Kaluga Region.

Игорь Чайка

As for younger son of the Prosecutor General, Igor Chaika, it is known that he participates in business of his brother. At the same time he tries to keep up with him. Igor Chaika's business is connected with the state. Among its assets – the Light Innovations company which performs contract works on lighting of streets and highways. In 2012, according to Forbes, the company won three tenders in the amount of 340 million rubles. Thus, the T-Industriya organization, 30% of which belongs to Igor Chaika, became the minority owner of the largest producer of cross ties in the country, Beleltrans. Also among Igor Chaika's assets there is an agro company and in addition organization, building a complex on cultivation of champignons in the Moscow Region.

At the end of July of this year Igor Chaika and Oleg Mitvol founded the Russian-Middle Eastern export center for implementation of several infrastructure projects in Gulf States.

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