How Gennady Timchenko became a billionaire

On November 9 in the year 1952, one of the most powerful businessmen in Russia was born in Leninakan, Armenia. His name is Gennady Timchenko, the co-founder of Gunvor Group and Volga Group. According to, his net worth is $19.1 billion as of November, 2020.

Gennady Timchenko
Gennady Timchenko (Credit:

Gennady Timchenko was the son a Russian military man. After he finished a degree in electrical engineering from the Mechanical Institute of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), he started working as an engineer in a power engineering plant in St. Petersburg. Later, he was assigned as the company’s trade representative in Germany. From 1982 to 1988, he worked as senior engineer of the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Foreign Trade. Then he was assigned to a state-owned oil company as a deputy director in-charge of trading oil with the west.

In the early 1990s after the former USSR disbanded, Gennady Timchenko left for Finland where he got employed by Urals Finland Oy, a company engaged in oil import. Later, he was promoted to CEO as the company was renamed International Petroleum Products Oy. In 2000, he started Gunvor, a trading company which rapidly grew into a leading oil trading company with $43 billion in revenues by 2007. However in 2014 just as the West was about to impose sanctions on Russia, he sold his interest and became a resident of Geneva, Switzerland.

Gennady then founded Volga Resources with interests in construction, gas, petrochemical, and railways. Additionally, he is the owner of Russian national hockey league KHL and is president of the SKA Saint-Petersburg Hockey Club.

Gennady Timchenko is married to Elena and has three children.


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