Position: Chairman of the Board of ZAO "JSCB Viking "
Born 12.04.1960 in Tashkent. After graduation from Institute worked as a master in “Lengidroenergospetsstroy” since 1984 to 1987. Since 1987 till 1988 took up the position of “Viking” cooperative Chairman. Since1988 up to 1991 became the Chairman of the Cooperative Bank “Patent” Board of Directors. Since 1991 the Cooperative Bank “Patent” was reorganized into the commercial Joint-stock Bank “Viking”. Since 1991 up to the present time – the Chairman of CJSC “Joint – stock Commercial Bank “Viking”.
He has higher education. In 1982 he graduated from the Tashkent Polytechnic Institute. Studied in the Inter-industry Institute of professional development in St.Petersburg State University of Economy and Finance in speciality of Banking.
He has a title of Academic of St Petersburg Engineering Academy. Was awarded with the medal “In remembrance of St Petersburg 300 anniversary”, the Slovak Republic order of the second degree “Honourable Cross”, the Public order of the Principal All-Russia premium “Russian National Olympus - "For honour and valour ".
Hobbies, interests: Oriental wrestling.
Family: Married, two daughters.
Alexey Ustaev rather seldom got in the field of view of criminal journalists, or journalists specialized in scandals and corruption cases. The experts consider that it’s connected both with the luck of the banker and his commercial policy – competent, considered and orientally sly.
For example, in the end of 90-es Ustaev was not reproached for some contact murders or bribes like his most arising Russian business colleagues but for non-payment of dividends. The subtext was evident: small shareholders considered that their profit was misappropriated by Ustaev or used for his commercial projects, but they couldn’t prove it.
For example, in 2000 the business media reported that “ Viking” bank got in 1999 from the shareholders 60 million rubles. In 2000 the bank was going to increase its capital for about 80 million rubles against shareholders’ deposits. The Chairman of CJSC Commercial Joint-stock Bank “Viking” board of directors Alexey Ustaev stated that the shareholders agreed on the increase of the bank capital so far as the bank returned their interests considerably covering the deposits. It is not talked of unpaid devidends year and year out, but of the companies- shareholders principal business incomes. According to Ustaev the bank provided its owners with credits and financial consultations and thereby incresed their incomes. At the same time the first Deputy Chairman of the Bank board of Directors Viacheslav Davidov was saying that in “Viking” it was unacceptable to credit shareholders on preferential terms. According to Davidov the simplified drawing up pcocedure was the maximum shareholder could count on.
The “Viking” bank assets for the January 1, 2000 amounted to 485 million rubles (for the beginning of 1999 - 287 thousand rubles). The own capital of the bank incresed in 1999 almost twice up to 135 million rubles. As a result of 1999 the profit amounted to 11,5 million rubles. The credit portfolio increased more than twice and reached the amount of 365 million rubles. In 1999 "Viking" attracted 220 new clients. The client database numbered at that time 1570 companies.
«Delovoy Petersburg» № 30 (697) from 24.03.2000
The experts considered that everything was like that, but only with big shareholders and not the small ones. The small shareholders with their claims were simply left out of accounts.
The whole year of 1999 had passed for the biggest St Petersburg “Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor” (BGD) department store in shock and conflicts. The department store that time already partly belonged to Ustaev’s commercial structures. The conflicts splashed in the arbitration proceeding with the company “Sosnovo”, which had reconstructed the department store Nevsky line in 1998. The BGD management decided that the construction works were not fulfilled properly and refused to pay the repairs. The other part considered that they were simply tricked. The legal cases lasted the whole year of 1999. In the autumn the Parties had come to a peaceful settlement. There had been an opinion that Ustaev agreed for that under pressure from unknown but highly powerful persons. The similar situation had been occurring with the St Petersburg governmental State property administration committee claims – BGD (Ustaev) was accused of the rental money embezzlement. However this legal case was also neutralized by the peaceful settlement.
«Delovoy Petersburg» № 65 (732) from 24.05.2000
Approximately at the same time came up the information about “Olginsky” bank, which later was passed into the ownership of Vladimir Ustaev, the brother of Alexey Ustaev. The brothers had fallen out because of money they couldn’t share.
It was announced that the “Olginsky” bank merged with the group of companies controlled by “Viking”, although Vladimir Ustaev affirmed that “Olginsky” would be independent. The formal orders proved the contrary of a statement. Alisa Roschina, the leading economist of CJSC Commercial Joint-stock Bank “Viking” department, owned 20 % of “Olginsky” shares. The “North-West Industrial Insurance Company” (42% of shares belonged to “ Investment company “Viking”) owned 18% shares of the bank.
Already at that time the media reported about rather serious position of the “Viking” bank and other businesses of Alexey Ustaev. He controlled the “Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor”, OJSC “the center of commercial trade, “Olgino” hotel LLC, OJSC “Hotel “St Petersburg” and some other big companies. Amidst the bankers “Viking” had the authority and was considered to be “tenent” organization always leading it’s projects to the end. One of those projects was the rebirth of the wine production plant “Samtrest-St Petersburg” LLC.
Already then one interesting detail was noted, which could be interpreted as the “corruption component”: the “Viking” bank was registered the second in Russia and the first Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors was appointed Viktor Halansky, the former Head of Governmental organization Central Bank of St Petersburg.
«Delovoy Petersburg» № 120 (787) from 24.08.2000
At the annual meeting in 2001 the shareholders of CJSC Commercial joint-stock Bank “Viking” again decided not to pay dividends by the results of 2000. As in the previous year the retained income of the bank was too small to divide it among the shareholders. The balance profit by the results of the last year amounted only to 4 million rubles, retained income – 800 thousand rubles.
The question was in the interests. As it had been clarified in the meeting lobby some shareholders were not satisfied with the amount of the bank profit in 2000. In particular, it seemed to one of the shareholders that the interest paid by the bank against investments was too high that reflected on the profit decrease. According to the profit-and-loss report for 2000 “Viking” paid more than 90 million rubles interests against the investments. At the same time according to the balance of the bank for the January 1, 2001 the investments amounted to 331 million rubles. Nevertheless the shareholders were not exasperated in the meeting.
«Delovoy Petersburg» № 78 (954) from 03.05.2001)
In 2001 Alexey Ustaev was fighting against OJSC “IC “Neva-Invest” for owning the shares of OJSC “Nevskaya manufactura”. In 2002 six representatives of “Viking” joined the company’s Board of Directors , and three from “Neva – Invest”, representing the interests of the shareholder whose name the company didn’t disclose. At the first meeting of the renewed Board of Directors Alexey Ustaev was voted into the Chairman. The owners of the control stock approved proposed by “Neva-Invest” candidacy of Vladimir Smirnov for the position of CEO. Leader of the company for the previous years Alexey Mogilniy took the position of the “Nevskaya manufactura” Board of Directors member responsible for technological cloth sales increase.
«Delovoy Petersburg» № 98 (1207) from 04.06.2002
In the middle of 2002 the fight started in St Petersburg court between the Heads of “Viking” and “Olginsky” banks Alexey Ustaev and his elder brother Vladimir Ustaev. The Head of “Olginsky” acted as the former investor of “Viking”. He tried to prove that Alexey Ustaev and his subordinates from “Viking” robbed Vladimir and his family members of all savings. The total amount of claims was 3.5 million dollars. Alisa Roschina, Vladimir Ustaev’s wife and the head of Ustaev’s empire in the past, came forward to support Vladimir Ustaev in the fight against Alexey Ustaev. She filed a claim in the Dzerzhinsky Federal regional court of St Petersburg against the “Viking” bank with the demand to return her private investments. That was the brief content of her claim described in Petersburg newspaper “Your secret adviser”.
In 1997 Alisa Roschina opened two currency accounts in “Viking” bank: current account and savings account. The initial contribution to the savings account amounted to 9900 dollars. Then she from time to time replenished the account and only once - in 1998 – she made a withdrawal from the account about 2,5 thousand dollars for transferring to the Insurance company. In July 1998 the total value in account of Alisa Roschina amounted to over half a million dollars, the total savings in “Viking” bank amounted to over 2 million dollars. In September she incidentally found out that half a million dollars from her savings account had been transferred to the account of Galina Ustaeva, the wife of “Viking” Board of Directors Chairman. The management of the bank explained her that it was formally done and her interests would not suffer.
On 28-th of September the bank employees informed Alisa Roschina about charge-off from her accounts of more than 950 thousand dollars and offered her to sign the written application with the write-off record on it. Of course she refused to sign, demanded to return her money and report on all accounts. The “Viking” management refused to fulfill her demands. Later the bankers informed the depositor that all data about her relations with bank was irreversibly lost because of the system error and “for the 5-th of April 2001 the bank didn’t have valid agreements” with Alisa Roschina!
This is to remind that all stated in two paragraphs above – the brief retelling of the woman’s claim. The total material claims to the bank came up to almost 3 million dollars including dividends. The court refused to sustain the claim of Alisa Roschina and charged state duty in the amount of 64 thousand rubles.
The husband of Alisa Roschina, Chairman of the “Olginsky” bank Board of Directors Vladimir Ustaev, took a legal action in Kuybishev Federal court of St Petersburg Central area with the similar claim to “Viking” bank. It was stated in his claim that on the 9-th of September 1998 the “Viking” employees charged off his currency account more than 360 thousand dollars and transferred the money to the account of Alexandra Proshunina, the sister of “Viking” Board of Directors Chairman. According to Vladimir Ustaev the employees of “Viking” bank carried out the operation without his permission and without his knowledge, although it was the matter of his personal savings. The total claims of Vladimir Ustaev to “Viking” bank including the interest amounted to almost half a million dollars.
It’s quite clear that in the courts and newspapers the formal issues had been considered. In a fact it was talked of a fact that Alexey Ustaev took the money of his elder brother by some family reasons and was not going to return them.
The experts commented that within the frames of the conflict between brothers Ustaevs the bank financial fraud cases was revealed. In the banking surroundings it was rumoured that the numerous redistribution of money between the shareholders of the bank – it was the mechanism of reducing the taxable incomes for most city banks. And it was talked about the bank’s money run up the accounts of shareholders or high-ranking bank managers but not the individuals’ money.
Let’s suppose that one of the bank managers draws up a deposit for large amount for his name. At the moment when it’s time to pay taxes the management of the bank allocates half of the profit for interest payment on this deposit. Due to this the part of the profit is not taxable. Later on due to some virtual operations all the deposit money returns to the bank management.
The person, for whose name the deposit was drawn up, theoretically could prove in the court that the management of the bank misappropriated his money. But usually such operations were carried out only en famille to avoid publicity.
Newspaper «Your secret advisor» N20 (51) from October 2002
In the middle of 2003 the “Viking” bank announced about it’s intention to increase investments to real estate projects. According to Вoard of Directors Chairman Alexey Ustaev three projects were under consideration. The bank intended to invest to the construction of the hotel for 150 rooms on the Moika embankment (estimated investment about 9 million dollars) and also to develop the 30 hectares of land owned by him nearby the lake Dolgoye and the plot of land in Telezhnaya street. The bankers were ready to invest in these territories 15 and 12 million dollars accordingly.
«Commersant-SPb» № 154 (2757) from 28.08.2003
In June 2004 in the annual meeting of shareholders of commercial bank “Viking” the Chairman and one of the biggest shareholders Alexey Ustaev announced about the revision of strategy of his credit institution. “Viking”, concentrated so far on work with corporate clients, would start from September the active promotion of it’s services in the mass market.
«Commersant-SPb» № 115 (2954) from 29.06.2004
In the beginning of 2005 the St Petersburg and Leningrad region Arbitration court got the claim with the demand to consider the sell of “Moscow” hotel illegal. In the beginning of March 74,42 % of the hotel shares were bought by CJSC “The investment center”, representing the holding “Adamant”, for 1,1 billion rubles. This transaction was disputed by the company “Asla” which had been connected with “Viking”. 0,4% of OJSC “Moscow” hotel voting shares belonged to the company “Asla”. As one of anonymous auction participants commented to Commersant newspaper “Asla” also wrangled over about “Moscow”, but finished when the price had turned 600 million rubles. The Chairman of “Viking” Board of Directors represented the company.
According to the comments given to Commersant newspaper by the Chairman of City Property Administration committee, Alexey Chichkanov, several days before the hotel selling auction the Arbitration court of St Petersburg and Leningrad region got the claim from the company “Asla” with the demand to acknowledge the City Property Administration Committee decision about the hotel privatization illegal. The fact that the decision was made before the St Petersburg state property privatization law (passed by Legislation Assembly in February and would came into power till the end of March) served as the grounds for the claim. “Asla” requested to prohibit the auction as the "secure measures", but the court declined this demand.
«Commersant-SPb» № 52 (3136) from 25.03.2005
However, “Asla” failed to “win a victory” over St Petersburg government.
In March 2005 the Administration of St Petersburg sold it’s last hotel asset — 60% of “Oktyabrskaya” hotel shares. The hotel was sold for 1,38 billion rubles ($49,8 million) to "Nothern Capital" LLC, represented by Alexey Ustaev, the Chairman of “Viking” bank Board of Directors. Thereby, 60% of “Oktyabrskaya” shares the city sold more expensive than 70% of “Moscow” shares in the beginning of March (1,115 billion rubles or $40,1 million). However earlier in St Petersburg Property Fund it was supposed to get for “Oktyabrskaya” no more than $20-25 million.
For the 1-st of January 2005 the assets of “Viking” amounted to slightly more than 1 billion rubles. It made the observers suppose that the bank was not the final buyer. “Viking” would clean “Oktyabrskaya” from debts and probably sell to one of the European operators.
«Commersant-SPb» № 55 (3139) from 30.03.2005
In April 2005 Alexey Ustaev turned out to be in the centre of the published criminal story for the first time. The principal investigatory administration of St Petersburg GUVD brought an action by the part 2 article 199 of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation “Tax evasion by the group of persons in preliminary collusion”. During the last five years seventy five million rubles were hided from taxes via payment for services to the companies established by the bank foreigners in Cyprus, Israel and Liechtenstein.
The taxes evasion case was entrusted to the merely organized 8-th department of the Principal investigation administration of St Petersburg GUVD. Nevertheless it was not published about any arrests within the frames of this criminal case.
Approximately at the same time it was announced by militia information about a resident of London Robert An who influenced the “Viking” bank policy. An was called one of the leading figures in shady transactions with “Chechen” aviso. According to the RUOP employees the former USSR KGB person Eugeniy Oleynik participated minimum in one of the aviso operations with An and Ustaev junior. In times of governor Vladimir Yakovlev Evgeniy Oleynik was appointed as the Head of Administrative bodies bureau in the rank of Vice Governor, then he died in the car accident.
By the end of 2007 the “Viking” bank consolidated 46 % of OJSC “Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor” (BGD). It is considered that the Gostiny Dvor is fully controlled by “Viking”via affiliate structures.
«Delovoy Petersburg» № 164 (2486) from 06.09.2007