Early Life and Education
Alexei Ananyev was born on August 24, 1964, in Moscow, into an ordinary family. Despite lacking wealthy and influential parents, he later found financial success through hard work and dedication. As a child, Ananyev had a passion for drawing and attended art school. However, he realized that he would not pursue a career as an artist. He went on to graduate from the Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, Maurice Thorez, in 1987, with a degree in translator-referent for Portuguese and English.
In the late 1980s, Alexei Ananyev started his career as a translator of Portuguese at the USSR KMO. During this period, he worked on importing used computers, primarily from IBM, to Russia. The business proved successful despite initial skepticism about the idea of importing obsolete computers to the USSR.
In 1992, Ananyev, in collaboration with his brother Dmitry Ananyev, founded Technoserv A/S, where he served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. The company initially focused on importing used computers and eventually evolved into Russia’s largest systems integration firm.
Alexei Ananyev’s Impact on Technoserv’s Trajectory
Technoserv, a prominent systems integration company in Russia, has played a significant role in influencing the IT industry, under the leadership of its founder and former owner, Alexey Nikolaevich Ananyev. Ananyev, who was born on August 24, 1964, in Moscow, USSR, has played a crucial role in steering the company’s expansion from its very beginning. Since 1992, he has assumed the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors at Technoserv A/S, effectively steering the company through diverse business endeavours and successfully establishing a strong presence within the industry.
Nevertheless, Ananyev’s affiliation with Technoserv underwent a tumultuous shift in September 2019, as he and his brother Dmitry Ananyev were apprehended in absentia and subsequently included on the international wanted list. The individuals in question are subject to allegations concerning their alleged participation in embezzlement and the misallocation of funds from PSB Bank. The allegations have given rise to legal and financial disputes.
Alexei Ananyev, whose personal fortune was estimated at $1.7 billion in 2013, attained the 61st rank on Forbes magazine’s compilation of the 200 wealthiest entrepreneurs in Russia. Notwithstanding significant achievements, the individual’s professional trajectory has been marred by legal predicaments, encompassing allegations of bribery and embezzlement.
In 2018, VTB Bank obtained a 40% ownership interest in the Technoserv group, thereby introducing further intricacy to the intricate network of business connections associated with Ananyev. As of September 2021, Trust Bank had made claims totalling 586 million euros against the Ananyevs, leading to the worldwide seizure of their assets.
The trajectory of Technoserv, which is closely linked with the ventures of Alexei Ananyev, exhibits parallelism with the intricate and demanding circumstances encountered by the company in the midst of legal and financial examination. The interconnections between Ananyev and Technoserv highlight the complex dynamics within the Russian business environment, where achievements and controversies frequently coalesce.
Details of IT Firm TechnoServ
TechnoServe is a Russian company focused on information technology services, offering solutions in telecommunication, outsourcing, information security, and business process automation.
In contrast, TechnoServe is a global nonprofit organization established in 1968 by Ed Bullard. Inspired by his volunteer work at a Ghanaian hospital, Bullard founded TechnoServe to combat poverty in the developing world. The organization collaborates with individuals and businesses, addressing local challenges that hinder effective market systems. Operating in nearly 30 countries, TechnoServe has empowered millions of people to achieve lasting prosperity by building regenerative farms, businesses, and markets that boost incomes.
Co-Founder of Promsvyazbank
In 1995, the Ananyev brothers co-founded Promsvyazbank. Within three years, the bank entered the top 100 banks in terms of assets, marking a successful venture into the financial sector.
Brief details of Promsvyazbank
The Ananyev brothers established Promsvyazbank, a Russian bank, in May 1995. Initially focused on telecommunications services, it later evolved into a universal bank and became one of the top 20 Russian banks by the mid-2000s. The bank’s assets and capital have seen significant growth over the years.
However, it faced challenges in 2017, which led to its restructuring. In December 2020, Promsvyazbank acquired Roscosmosbank, and by 2022, it had increased its authorized capital. The bank offers a range of services to corporate and individual customers, including investment and SME banking services.
It has also expanded its branches into annexed regions of Ukraine. Promsvyazbank is a state-owned bank and has been chosen as the base bank for implementing the state defence order and servicing the defence sector.
Blagosostoyanie OPS, controlled by businessman Boris Mints’ O1 Group, acquired a 10% stake in Promsvyazbank, a prominent privately-owned bank in Russia. The acquisition, valued at 6.9 billion roubles ($140 million), involved the purchase of shares from Promsvyaz Capital on the Moscow Exchange, owned by Dmitry and Alexei Ananyev, major shareholders in Promsvyazbank. Blagosostoyanie OPS clarified that it had no plans to increase its stake beyond the acquired 10%.
Promsvyazbank, ranked as the 11th largest bank in Russia by assets, emphasized that the pension fund’s investment would facilitate ongoing support for lending activities to some of the country’s largest corporations.
Legal Troubles for Ananyev Brothers: Cyprus Court Freezes €267 Million in Assets
The legal predicament faced by Dmitry and Alexei Ananyev, erstwhile proprietors of Promsvyazbank, arose subsequent to the intervention of the Russian central bank in the form of a financial rescue operation in 2017. Following the aforementioned events, the Ananyev siblings encountered legal complications pertaining to the operational undertakings of the financial institution.
In the year 2020, a court in Cyprus implemented measures to immobilize a total of €267 million in assets that were owned by the Ananyev brothers, their respective spouses, and an additional party. The decision to undertake this action was instigated in response to a formal request made by the National Bank Trust of Russia. The aforementioned financial institution had assumed ownership of nonperforming assets originating from several prominent banks, such as Promsvyazbank, which had previously received financial assistance from the central bank in 2017.
According to the latest available data as of December 31, 2020, the total assets of Promsvyazbank were reported to amount to RUB 2,764 billion.
Challenges in Putin’s Russia
The Ananyev brothers‘ troubles began in 2015 when the West imposed sanctions on Moscow. Alexei Ananyev, who sits on the supervisory board of Russia’s central bank, found himself in a challenging situation. The central bank decided to assist the struggling defence industry by nationalizing the brothers’ privately owned bank and turning it into a special lender for the military.
Alexei Ananyev argues that his case illustrates how any businessperson in Putin’s Russia could face difficulties. He characterized Russia’s political system as a “one-man show,” where the elite anxiously awaits the president’s decisions. In 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky lifted sanctions on the Ananyev brothers at the request of the Russian Orthodox Church. Despite this, Alexei and Dmitry Ananyev continue to confront increasing pressure related to their Russian bank.
Philanthropy and Religious Commitment
Both Dmitry and Alexei Ananyev are known for their deep religious beliefs. They actively participate in Sunday services at the Moscow Church of the Life-Giving Trinity. Alexei, in particular, has been involved in religious activities since 1991, when his wife introduced him to the church. The Ananyev brothers are also known for their philanthropic efforts, including assistance to monasteries and involvement in church choirs.
Art Collection and Museum
Alexei Ananyev has a significant passion for expensive paintings. His art collection, consisting of about 6,000 works, includes pieces by renowned artists such as Viktor Ivanov, Albert Papikyan, and Geliy Korzhev. In 2011, Ananyev opened the Institute of Russian Realistic Art to exhibit his collection. The most valuable painting in the collection was acquired in 2014 for almost $3 million.
Brief about Alexey Ananyev’s Private Collections
Alexey Ananyev‘s passion for painting sprouted at the tender age of 9 when he transitioned from music school to the world of art. His formative years at a children’s art school laid the foundation for his appreciation of various art forms, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and art history.
Geliy Korzhev’s Social Series
Ananyev’s collection prominently features the works of Geliy Korzhev, with a particular emphasis on the artist’s social series. Notably, Ananyev sheds light on the thematic deviation of Korzhev’s “Don Quixote” series and the potential inclusion of one of the pieces in the museum’s permanent exhibition.
Diverse Artistic Palette
Ananyev’s childhood drawings, often depicting war, aeroplanes, and ships, reflect his early artistic inclinations. However, the collection extends beyond such themes, encompassing diverse works ranging from war scenes to romantic landscapes.
Meeting Room Chronicles
An array of artwork adorns the meeting room walls, featuring names like Kim Britov, Sergei and Alexey Tkachev, Alexei Gritsai, and Nikolai Bogdanov-Belsky. An unexpected gem is Vladimir Kutilin’s “Running on the Waves,” an emotionally charged piece that captivated even the discerning eyes at Sotheby’s.
Ananyev’s collection extends beyond canvases to include working sketches, such as those for the diorama “The Establishment of Soviet Power in Vyatka” by Nikolai Nikolaevich Solomin. These historical pieces add depth to the collection, showcasing the evolution of artistic expression over time.
Institute of Russian Realistic Art
Founded in 2011, Ananyev’s Institute of Russian Realistic Art finds its home in a meticulously restored boiler house. The museum not only displays Ananyev’s vast collection but also serves as a cultural hub, fostering an appreciation for Russian realism.
Art Market Dynamics
Ananyev reflects on his art-collecting journey, acknowledging the changing dynamics of the art market. While his collection predominantly features Russian realists from the 20th century, he remains open to 19th-century acquisitions if they align with his aesthetic and budget.
Ananyev’s collection thrives on personal connections with artists and their families. More than 50% of the artworks find their way into the collection through these connections, emphasizing the importance of relationships in the world of art.
He envisions his children continuing the tradition of art collection. Despite their cautious approach, he hopes that the love for art will be passed down through generations, turning collecting into a shared family passion.
The museum undergoes continuous evolution, with renovations, exhibitions, and the promise of future displays. An upcoming exhibition featuring Viktor Ivanov, a living classic of the “severe style,” exemplifies Ananyev’s commitment to showcasing diverse artistic voices.
In conclusion, Alexey Ananyev’s private collections offer a rich tapestry of Russian realism, reflecting not only the artistic evolution of a nation but also the personal journey of a dedicated collector. The Institute of Russian Realistic Art stands as a testament to its commitment to preserving and sharing the beauty of the artistic universe.
Family and Personal Life
Alexei Ananyev is married and has three sons. He emphasizes instilling a love for work in his children from a young age and respects their career choices. Ananyev maintains a strong relationship with his brother Dmitry, with whom he conducts business. The brothers prefer working quietly and privately, focusing on achieving results rather than publicizing their plans.
Business Ventures and Connections
Throughout his career, Alexei Ananyev has been associated with various companies, including Promsvyazbank, Media3, Trud newspaper, Technoserv A/S, Promsvyaz-real estate, Interregional TransitTelecom, Cyan Group, and White Bird. He has connections with influential figures such as Shishkhanov Mikail Osmanovich and Gutseriev Said Mikhailovich.
Awards and Recognition
The Ananyev brothers have consistently featured in ratings such as “The Richest Families of Russia,” “Billionaires,” and “Richest Businessmen of Russia,” showcasing their significant financial success and impact on the business landscape in Russia.
|Net Worth (in billions)
Challenges and Legal Issues
In recent years, the Ananyev brothers have faced challenges, including the reorganization of Promsvyazbank by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Legal issues related to corruption in the Russian Pension Fund have also surfaced, implicating Alexei Ananyev and other individuals. As a result, the brothers are currently on the run and are on the international wanted list for embezzlement from Promsvyazbank.
Sanctions on the Ananyev Brothers
The Ananyev brothers, Dmitry and Alexei, have been the subject of sanctions and legal issues. They are Russian businessmen who were accused of fraud and had their bank, Promsvyazbank, seized by Russian authorities in 2017.
The UK and the US have imposed sanctions on the bank and the brothers, mainly because of their roles in Crimea.
In 2021, Ukrainian President Zelensky lifted sanctions on the Ananyev brothers at the request of the Russian Orthodox Church, as they were major sponsors of the church.
Dmitry Ananiev faced legal issues in Russia with accusations of fraud and money laundering and his assets being frozen. Alexei Ananyev was detained by French police in 2023 in a tax and sanctions probe.
The brothers have claimed that the accusations against them have a political dimension, as stated by Interpol’s General Secretariat.
Alexei Ananyev‘s life journey encompasses a rise from a translator to a prominent Russian entrepreneur and philanthropist. His success in business, commitment to religion, passion for art, and dedication to family have shaped his multifaceted personality. However, recent legal challenges have added complexities to his narrative, underscoring the highs and lows of a dynamic and eventful life.