Gennady Timchenko (Геннадий Тимченко), owner of Volga Group—an energy, infrastructure and transportation investment company— is described as one of the most powerful people in Russia. He is the 61st wealthiest individual in the world, according to Forbes, and the 6th wealthiest in Russia. As of 27 April, 2014, Forbes estimated Timchenko to have a net worth of around $13.1b, primarily from earnings in the oil & gas industry. At 61 years of age, Timchenko has more than 30 years of experience in the domestic and international energy field, with considerable holdings in multiple corporations. He holds citizenship in Russia, Armenia and Finland.
Gennady Timchenko was born in 1952 in Leninakan, Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. He spent most of his childhood in Germany and Ukraine. He received his degree in electromechanical engineering in 1976 from the Leningrad Mechanical University. Upon graduation, he became employed at the Izjorski Factory, an industrial plant located in Leningrad that produced components for the energy sector.
Investments in Oil and Oil Trading
Timchenko’s rise to industry leader in the Russian oil trading industry began in the early 1980’s when he participated in the establishment of export routes for oil products from the FSU to western nations. This led to his appointment as Senior Engineer at the Ministry of Foreign Trade, a post he held from 1982-1988. In 1991, Timchenko left Russia and began working for Urais Finland, which specialized in exporting Russian oil and petrochemical products to European countries.
In 1997, Gennady Timchenko co-founded the Gunvor Group Ltd. with his partner Torbjorn Tornqvist. Until March, 2014, he held a 43% stake in Gunvor, the 4th largest oil trader in the world, handling roughly 3% of the world’s oil. Timchenko also owns considerable shares in Novatek—the 2d largest gas producer in Russia, where he has served on the Board of Directors since 2009,
Gennady Timchenko has significant holdings in a number of other construction, gas and transportation enterprises, the majority of which are managed under his holding group—Volga Resources Group, including Sibur Holding—the largest chemical manufacturer in Russia, Transoil, Colmar, IG Seismic Services, and Russian Sea Group—a fish retailer.
Recently, Timchenko has begun to shift his focus away from European and other western markets, owning a 67% stake in a $27b project to produce oil in the Arctic Yamal region of Russia that will primarily benefit Asian customers.
Corporate Boards and Philanthropic Activities
Gennady Timchenko is Chairman of the Economic Council of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce, Chairman and Board President of the Ice Hockey Club SKA in St. Petersburg, Chairman of the Continental Hockey League, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Russian Geographical Society and the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow.
Timchenko has been involved in philanthropic work for most of his life. His own foundation—Timchenko Foundation—focuses on the elderly, families & children and sports and culture. Additionally, he has initiated the creation of several charities, including the Neva Judo Club, Klyuch Charitable Foundation, which provides foster homes to children, and the Ladoga Foundation, whose mission is primarily to service the elderly.
Gennady Timchenko is a sports enthusiast, playing ice hockey and tennis. He lives in Geneva, Switzerland, is married and the father of three children.