18 March 2009

Rich people of St. Petersburg: Andrey Fomenko

Owner of the Empire Holding and the Senator business center networkAndrey Fomenko's personal office is located on the top floor of his business center "Senator" at the corner of Tchaikovsky St. and nab.

Fontanka. Almost half of the office is occupied by an azure pool, separated from the desktop by a glass wall. In the center of the study there is a fireplace and skins on the floor, and in the atrium there is a winter garden. Through the transparent walls there is a panoramic view of the Summer Garden and Petropavlovsk. According to the situation, it can be assumed that the owner of the office lives at work, well, at least she lives.

To a journalistic remark: "It's cozy here with you," Andrei Fomenko replies with a smile: "Well, so – I built it for myself."

Andrey Fomenko started his business at the dawn of the market economy. At that time, buying shares of enterprises and organizations with liquid real estate was a common thing. And the future owner of his own "Empire" was no exception – he also began to buy and sell shares.

"It was interesting to do business, it was all new," recalls Andrey. – I entered FINEK, but I studied there for about three days and then went to work to make money."

However, not everyone was satisfied with Andrey Fomenko's rather aggressive manner of doing business. The scandals around the City Group of companies, which later became the basis of the Empire Holding, were regularly mentioned in the press of those years. Among the objects that interested "City" were the property complexes of "Giprostekla", "Giprometiza", "LenNIImashproekt", "Lenneftekhim", "Stekvara" and a number of other research institutes.

Andrey Fomenko himself tells about those times: "How was the business born? That's how it was born – they bought everything they could and then sold it." But over time, interest in the transformation of former provincial institutions into modern business centers won out.

"We bought one house – repaired, bought the second one – repaired and so it went-it went. Slowly, slowly, – says Andrey Fomenko. – Our first house in the future network "Senator" opened on the 2nd Soviet." Now Andrey Fomenko is not particularly worried about the crisis. On the contrary, he intends to turn it to the benefit of his holding.

"Any crisis is good – sobering! In a growing market, any fool can work, but try to work on a falling one! For example, we entered this crisis with very little debt. The holding company did not particularly like to be credited before and mostly built on its own money. So now we will actively buy, we will buy very cheaply everything beautiful that is located in the city center. We want to spend about $150-200 million on buying up new facilities," Andrey shares his plans.

The owner of the "Empire" does not want to go to other regions in principle, considering that there is still a place to invest money in the center of St. Petersburg.

"We have a lot of garbage dumps in the center, take it and build it! – he speaks out. – I decided for myself that I would still work in the city center - not a business center, so at least I would build an apartment for myself!"

Talking about his second brainchild, the Eternal Youth Foundation, Andrei Fomenko complains that his ideas for investing money in biotechnology, which would allow a person to live longer, have not yet found mass support among other oligarchs: "It seems that no one needs it, there are no worthy projects either, and most importantly – there are no managers who could work with ideas. This is a very big expense, and now that there is a crisis in the main market, it is difficult to expect that anyone will invest in innovative biotechnologies."

But Andrey does not give up the idea of "eternal youth", as well as his main development business.:

"Offers to sell the business, of course, have been received. These are mainly Western investment funds. But I don't see any point in selling yet – this is my business, I want to develop and increase it. I haven't prepared for biotechnologies yet, when I get ready, then maybe it will be possible to sell everything to hell. But it's not today," he laughs.

Fomenko Andrey Nikolaevich
He started doing business in the early 1990s.
According to his own words, "he entered FINEK, studied there for about three days and then went to work - to make money."

Company information:
Empire Holding is one of the largest participants in the commercial real estate development market in St. Petersburg, actively working in the mergers and acquisitions segment. The main owner of the group is Andrey Fomenko, as well as members of his family.
The Senator business center network created within the holding has 13 operating business centers with a total area of more than 100 thousand square meters.m. This is about 20% of the St. Petersburg market of class A and B+ offices. Another 150 thousand sq.m. is under construction. In addition, the holding intends to acquire about 100 thousand sq.m. in St. Petersburg in the near future, spending $ 150-200 million.
In addition, the Empire Holding specializes in the purchase and sale of land plots.
Andrey Fomenko is also the founder of the Eternal Youth Foundation, which aims to "develop and implement methods of rejuvenation and maximum prolongation of active life." The foundation is headed by his wife, Lada.
$ 1.1 billion – capitalization of the Empire holding.

Roman Romanyuk, "Business Petersburg", 16.03.2009

Portal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru18.03.2009

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