Banking & Finance
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1998 - 2011
Interros founded Rosbank in the wake of the 1998 crisis as a bridge bank for UNEXIM Bank. In 2002 Rosbank resolved all of UNEXIM Bank’s and MFK’s debts. The bank's teams were combined to create an effective financial institution. In 2003 Rosbank adopted a new development strategy that involved working with retail clients in addition to corporate banking. In 2006 Interros and Société Générale, a French bank group, agreed to become business development partners. In 2008 Société Générale acquired a controlling stake in Rosbank.
Investment – $400 mln (including investment in UNEXIM Bank prior to 1998)
Total share sale proceeds – $2.5 bln
Rosbank Joint Stock Commercial Bank
- Private diversified financial services and credit institution.
- One of Russia’s top ten largest banks in assets and capital.
- The largest regional branch network: over 600 outlets and 3000 ATMs in 70 regions of the Russian Federation.
Interros creates Rosbank as a bridge bank for UNEXIM Bank during the financial meltdown. Rosbank is the first Russian bank to completely resolve all UNEXIM Bank and MFK debt issues that came about in the wake of the crisis. Once all obligations to creditors have been restructured, both banks’ assets and liabilities are transferred to Rosbank.
The merger of the MFK, UNEXIM Bank, and Rosbank teams creates an efficient financial organization that offers quality services to its clients, from traditional commercial banking to complex investment deals.
Rosbank adopts a new development strategy that involves working with retail clients in addition to corporate banking and announces its plans to dive into retail banking.
Interros implements the new strategy by acquiring:
- 350 branches of Pervoe O.V.K. for $200 mln, a large network of regional branches and offices, second only to Sberbank of Russia
- STB Card payment processing company
- Inkahran, a cash-in-transit company
- Unified Settlement System, a non-bank credit organization
Rosbank and Perviy OVK Bank’s asset merger yields results:
- Rosbank becomes the largest private retail bank in Russia
- over 600 outlets in Russia.
Interros and Société Générale, a French bank group, agree to partner in banking. In June SG acquires 10% of Rosbank shares from Interros for $317 mln. In September Société Générale acquires another 10% of Rosbank at the same price with an option to acquire a 30% stake for $1.7 bln.
The option is executed in February, giving Société Générale a controlling stake in Rosbank.
Shareholders decide to tap into the synergy potential of various business lines and make Rosbank a leading international financial institution in Russia. To achieve this goal, they decide to consolidate the assets of Société Générale in Russia, namely Rosbank and other subsidiary banks: Bank Société Générale Vostok (BSGV), Rusfinance, and DeltaCredit.
Rosbank acquires Rusfinans and DeltaCredit banks from SG, with both banks becoming Rosbank subsidiaries. Rosbank merges with BSGV in the middle of the year to become the largest international financial institution in Russia. At this point SG’s share in Rosbank has reached 82.4%.
Interros sells the remaining 7% of Rosbank to Société Générale, thus completing the multi-phased sale of bank shares to the French group.
1990 - 1998
In 1992 Interros founded the International Company for Finance and Investment, MFK, to provide financial services to companies doing business domestically and abroad. In May 1994, MFK filed with the Central Bank of Russia to become the AKB MFK joint-stock commercial bank. By presidential decree, UNEXIM Bank and AKB MFK formed the financial industrial group FPG Interros in October 1994. Three years later, in July 1997, the AKB MFK shareholders announced the Bank’s merger with Renaissance Capital Investment Company, later dissolved in the wake of the August 1998 crisis. AKB MFK was absorbed into Rosbank and, along with UNEXIM Bank, ceased to exist.
- One of the first private companies in Russia to receive a license (License #2) to provide banking services.
- Founders: International Bank of Economic Cooperation, the RFSR Bank of Foreign Trade, Sberbank of RSFSR and VEA Interros.
- One of the first companies in Russia to provide professional financial services to businesses.
VEA Interros becomes keenly aware of the growing market for not just consulting services but also for professional financial services to accompany businesses every step of the way. In February, Vladimir Potanin creates the International Company for Finance and Investments (MFK) with the International Bank of Economic Cooperation, the Bank of Foreign Trade of the RSFSR, the Sberbank of the RSFSR, and VEA Interros as co-founders. MFK is headed by Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prohorov, the former head of the Foreign Currency and Export Department at the CMEA International Bank of Economic Cooperation. In September the company becomes a co-founder of MICEX, the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange.
In April, MFK co-founds UNEXIM Bank, a new universal bank to meet the banking needs of large clients within Russia as well as those engaged in international trade.
In May, the International Company for Finance and Investments files with the Central Bank of Russia to become the AKB MFK Joint-Stock Commercial Bank. In October, by presidential decree, UNEXIM Bank and AKB MFK form Interros Financial-Industrial Group.
Interros Financial Industrial Group (FPG) objectives:
- Create, coordinate and implement development programs for FPG founding companies
- Ensure financial turnaround of FPG founding companies
- Coordinate investment pooling
Euromoney magazine cites MFK as one of the five most reliable Russian institutions working with foreign investors.
In July, AKB MFK shareholders announce the merger with Renaissance Capital, Boris Jordan’s investment company, where they also had a stake.
MFK Renaissance Group target performance indicators:
The company outperformed all other Russian investment banks and investment organizations on all key financial indicators and on the scale of its operations.
- MFK Renaissance Group aggregate capital — $400 mln
- Total assets — over $2 bln
- Total amount of foreign investment brought into the Russian economy with the group’s involvement — over $10 bln per year
The MFK-Renaissance joint venture is dissolved in the wake of the August 1998 financial meltdown. Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prohorov take out their equity through shareholder settlement. AKB MFK ceases to exist as shareholders decide to integrate it and UNEXIM Bank into Rosbank, a new bank created to clean up after the crisis and repair Russia’s financial system.
1993 - 2000
Interros founded UNEXIM Bank in 1993 to serve the country’s rapidly developing foreign trade needs. By 1994, UNEXIM Bank was already among the 1000 largest banks in the world. In 1997 it became Russia’s #3 bank by capitalization. In 1998, before the crisis hit, UNEXIM Bank was one of the largest private financial institutions in the country, and #5 among Central and Eastern European banks. UNEXIM Bank merged with Rosbank in 2000, having restructured $1.5 bln in liabilities.
1994 – becomes one of the 1000 largest banks in the world.
1997 – becomes the third-largest bank in Russia by capitalization.
1998 – The Banker, a British magazine, ranks UNEXIM #346 of the world’s largest credit organizations, #5 among banks in Eastern and Central Europe, and #12 in the world for capital adequacy.
1995, 1996, 1998 – Euromoney, an authoritative magazine, names UNEXIM one of the best banks in Russia on three occasions.
- The largest universal bank in Russia in the 1990s.
- With more than 30 shareholders and clients, the bank united Russia’s key players in foreign trade.
- UNEXIM Bank cofounders’ aggregate revenue was upwards of $10 billion per year.
New foreign trade mechanisms continue to sprout from the ruins of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance to replace linkages severed by Comecon’s dissolution. It is becoming increasingly clear that the existing banks cannot meet the needs of the growing market. What is sorely missing is a large universal bank to efficiently and reliably service rapidly developing foreign trade. There is a pressing need to create a structure able to unite the largest foreign trade participants, while fitting in with the existing market infrastructure. On April 20, the Central Bank of Russia registers UNEXIM (United Export-Import) Bank, founded by Vladimir Potanin. Potanin is the President of UNEXIM Bank, and his partner Mikhail Prohorov is the Chairman of the Board. Over 30 of Russia’s largest foreign trade companies and organizations become the new Bank’s clients and shareholders: Sovrybflot, Technostroyexport, Raznoexport, Rosvneshtorg, NPO Energy, JSC Nafta-Moscow, JSC Norilsk Nickel, GVK Rosnefteimpeks, and MFK, the International Company for Finance and Investment. The cofounders’ and shareholders’ reputation and professionalism, coupled with the high-quality banking services, help expand the customer base to include large state-owned organizations and government-affiliated entities. For example, the Customs Service works with the Bank to implement a cargo-tracking system and create terminals to log data into a border-crossing database. UNEXIM bank is a perfect fit for market needs and, in the words of Vladimir Potanin, it grows to be the first “private bank that thinks like the government”.
UNEXIM Bank continues to grow its assets and works effectively with large companies to expand its client base. The Bank develops customized banking products for government-funded clients, such as Rosvooruzhenie. In October, by presidential decree, UNEXIM Bank and AKB MFK create the Interros Financial Industrial Group.
Interros FPG (Financial Industrial Group) objectives:
- Design, coordinate and implement business development plans of the founding companies.
- Achieve financial turnaround of its founding companies.
- Centralize investment-seeking activities.
State-owned shares of companies are placed under UNEXIM-Bank and MFK (UNEXIM-MFK Group) management:
- Sidanko (51%)
- RAO “Norilsk Nickel” (51% of voting shares)
- NLMK (14.84%)
- Controlling stake in the North-West Shipping Company
The state-owned shares previously transferred for management under the loans-for-shares auctions are acquired by Interros Group companies.
When the August crisis hits, UNEXIM Bank is one of the country’s largest private financial institutions. It becomes the nucleus of a powerful financial-industrial group and is recognized as such both in Russia and abroad. The 1998 financial crisis virtually destroys Russia’s banking system. Large financial institutions that were active in the financial markets and invested in GKO-OFZ (Russian T-bills and federal loan bonds), including UNEXIM Bank, are the hardest hit. UNEXIM Bank’s combined liabilities amount to $1.7 bln. Different banks “left the stage” in different ways. Following a constructive dialogue with its counterparts, UNEXIM Bank undergoes an unprecedented, fully transparent successful commercial restructuring, the first in the country. Interros covers UNEXIM Bank’s $400 mln obligations to its creditors, thus safeguarding private clients’ deposits. With no other sources of outside funding, bank management designs and implements a complex system of trading in claims for assets, obtaining the best possible financial outcome under the political and economic circumstances.
On February 16, two groups of UNEXIM Bank’s creditors sign a framework agreement to restructure bank debts. Almost all of the remaining creditors will follow suit at a later date. Moscow Commercial Court ceases UNEXIM Bank bankruptcy proceedings on July 3. UNEXIM Bank merges with Rosbank, having restructured $1.5 billion in liabilities.
1993 - 2008
In 1993, when the Federal Insurance Law took effect, Interros founded the Soglasie insurance company. As one of the first insurance companies on the market, Soglasie was very active in developing the insurance services market and defining what constitutes rules-based market behavior. In 2002, the Expert RA rating agency rated Soglasie A+ (high creditworthiness with stable outlook) in a ranking of Russian domestic insurance companies. The company’s rating was reaffirmed in June 2008. The Soglasie insurance company was included as part of Mr. Prokhorov’s UNEXIM Group when Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov divided up their business holdings.
Soglasie Insurance Company
- One of the first insurance companies in Russia.
- With the founding of Soglasie Interros became one of the first companies in the country to venture out into commercial insurance.
- The company offers almost every kind of insurance and reinsurance permitted under the Russian law.
- Has over 700 branches in Russia.
A year after the Federal Insurance Law paves the way for commercial insurance in the country, Interros creates Soglasie, one of the first insurance companies on the Russian market
The company is co-founded by: MFK, UNEXIM Bank, and the Interros-Dostoinstvo Non-State Pension Fund. The name of the company is changed to Interros-Soglasie. Prompted by increased competition in the insurance services market, shareholders demand that the company expand its product offerings to companies and organizations outside the Interros Group. Soglasie, headed by CEO Igor Zhuk, continues to provide insurance protection for all of Interros holding’s assets and to strengthen corporate relationships. At the same time, Soglasie is aggressively building an external client base. As one of the first companies to explore new market segments for insurance, Soglasie is involved in forming a rules-based insurances services market. For instance, Soglasie develops norms and standards for the automotive insurance market together with a select cohort of insurance companies.
The founders restore the original name — Soglasie — by dropping the Interros prefix. The Expert RA rating agency assigns Soglasie an A+ rating — signifying high creditworthiness with stable outlook — in a ranking of domestic insurance companies.
The company’s rating is reaffirmed in June. The Soglasie Insurance Company becomes part of Prokhorov’s UNEXIM Group as the result of the division of assets between Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov.
1993 - 2006
In 1993 UNEXIM Bank and MFK of the Interros Group founded Interros-Dostoinstvo. The company received the first license in Russia to operate a private pension fund. In doing so, Interros stepped into uncharted waters and played a role in shaping the business environment and establishing the rules of the game in pension fund management. In April 2006 the Interros-Dostoinstvo Non-State Pension Fund was transferred to the control of MMC Norilsk Nickel and was renamed the Norilsk Nickel Non-State Pension Fund.
The Expert RA rating agency gave the company an A+ rating (very high reliability).
In May 2009, the National Rating Agency rated the company AA (very high reliability, level II) based on company financial reports.
The Non-State Pension Fund received a number of prestigious industry awards: the Financial Olympus Award, the Russian Financial Elite Award, and the 2012 National Financial and Economic Olympus Award for the development of corporate pension programs.
- Obtained the very first license from the Non-State Pension Funds Inspectorate under the Ministry of Labor (license registered in December 1993).
- The oldest non-state pension fund in Russia — over 19 years in operation, the private pension funds market trailblazer.
- One of the top five private pension funds in Russia.
Interros creates the Interros-Dostoinstvo Non-State Pension Fund and obtains the very first license to operate as a private pension fund.
Interros- Dostoinstvo Non-State Pension Fund statistics:
- Combined fund assets— 70.2 mln rub
- Pension reserves — 59.8 mln rub in 2004
Several other Interros holding companies become Interros-Dostoinstvo co-founders.
In April, Interros-Dostoinstvo Non-State Pension Fund is renamed Norilsk Nickel Non-State Pension Fund and transferred to the control of MMC Norilsk Nickel.
Based on changes to its business model and strategy, the Norilsk Nickel Non-State Pension Fund is renamed the Nasledie Non-State Pension Fund.
Nasledie Non-State Pension Fund today:
- Property in ownership — 59,885,258,000 rub
- Pension funds under management — 45,824,282,000 rub
- Funded pension reserves — 13,776,079,000 rub
- Assets to conduct statutory activity — 174,217,000 rub
- Co-founders’ capital contribution — 408,926,000 rub
- Number of pension account holders — 1,031,625
- Number of individuals drawing pensions — 20,405
1993 - 2007
Interros founded Interros-Leasing in 1994 and was actively involved in shaping a rules-based business environment in the industry. The company concluded major deals in energy, oil and gas, mining, food processing, telecommunications, transportation, and communications. In 2005 the company was renamed IR-Leasing. In 2008 e the IR-Leasing management team bought out the company.
One of the top 30 leasing companies in Russia (according to Leasing and Investment Technologies magazine).
Of the 100 largest leasing companies in Europe, IR-Leasing is # 59, according to the European Association of Leasing Companies.
- IR-Leasing was one of the first leasing companies in Russia, making Interros one of the founders of the leasing services market in Russia.
- Competitive advantages: financial underwriting by the MFK-UNEXIM Group and an outside-the-box approach.
- Largest deals in the energy and mining sectors.
There is virtually no leasing services market in the country. Essentially all of the necessary tools are missing: a legislative framework, long credit, and experience - both in the banking community and among the lessees. The prevailing economic conditions of high inflation, a lack of professional managers, and a shortage of qualified employees at the lessee companies exacerbate the situation. Interros creates Interros Leasing, relying on the skills of its own staff and global experience gleaned from using leasing as an effective tool for technical upgrades. The Interros team works with Rosleasing, the Russian Association of Leasing Companies, on strengthening domestic legislation as appropriate. Financial underwriting by the company’s shareholders, MFK and UNEXIM Bank, give Interros-Leasing an important competitive advantage. Another important distinction of Interros-Leasing is its innovative approach and good grasp of the market. The company is able to offer products and services that meet the market’s most urgent needs. The first Interros Leasing contract is to supply a 50-ton tunneling machine by Alpine Westfalia, a German/Austrian firm, to ALROSA’s International (aka Mirniy) mine.
Interros Leasing signs a leasing agreement with RAO Norilsk Nickel to supply the company’s business units with Atlas-Copco-Wagner underground drill rigs, load-haul machines, and underground haulers totaling over $33 mln.
The large-scale project with Norilsk Nickel is unfolding at the height of the 1998 financial crisis, yet not a single payment is missed, and the equipment is delivered to the mines on schedule. Interros Leasing secures major contracts in the energy sector, including construction of Kaliningrad heat-and-power plant #2 and the Belgorod Luch heat-and-power plant, and supplying turbines for the Zhigulev hydropower plant.
The Company changes its name to IR-Leasing.
IR-Leasing management buys out the company, which becomes an independent player on the market.