Dollar millionaire Yatsyshyn settled down in the USA
Yevgeny Yatsyshyn, an associate of the founder of the LSR Andrey Molchanov, settled in America on prepared soil. Against the backdrop of high-profile breakups with Russia, billionaires like Oleg Tinkov, Sergei Doronin and Mikhail Fridman are leaving the country, and others are less visible, but no less iconic figures. Former top manager of LSR Group Evgeny Yatsishin is clearly one of them. In St. Petersburg, his name was remembered in connection with a short, but in its own way effective work in the civil service, as well as due to the demolition of a number of historical buildings. The manager thought about life in the States for a long time, and last year’s events only accelerated his move.
The consulting firm Henley & Partners assumed that 15,000 dollar millionaires would leave Russia in 2022. We cannot yet say whether this prediction has come true. However, it is clear that many rich people do move abroad and have no intention of returning. Their biographies are a real encyclopedia of the economic life of Russia in the 1990s–2000s. This is exactly what the life story of Yevgeny Yatsyshin looks like, whose personal fortune in 2021 was estimated by the Delovoy Petersburg newspaper at 2.46 billion rubles.
Yevgeny Yatsyshyn was born in Vitebsk in 1970. In 1993 he graduated from the Faculty of Economics of St. Petersburg State University. In the same year, his career began at the Lenstroyrekonstruktsiya firm, founded by his classmate Andrei Molchanov. In 2002, Yatsyshyn took over as Vice President of LSR Group. True, not for long: in November of the following year, Yatsyshin left for civil service, sitting in the chair of the chairman of the Committee for the Construction of St. Petersburg.
What is noteworthy here is that in the city government, Yevgeny Yatsyshyn, in fact, worked under the supervision of a relative of his former boss. One of the then vice-governors, Yuri Molchanov, was the father of Andrey Molchanov, the president of LSR Group. By the way, in 2012, Molchanov Sr. moved to work at VTB, where, in the status of senior vice president, he began to oversee the bank’s major construction projects – the same ones for which he had previously been responsible at Smolny.
Many local developers felt that there was a clear conflict of interest in this power structure. They also feared that the new official would begin to promote Luzhkov’s approach to housing reconstruction in the northern capital, which is why there was a lot of criticism against him.
The main task of Andrei Molchanov’s colleague in Smolny was to restore order with the turnover of land. However, the expected bidding for the “full package” (that is, the sale of land with engineering preparation and a full set of approvals) did not begin with him. Caused criticism and communication style of the new head of the committee. “I have never met a more incompetent leadership of the committee in 50 years of my work. Mr. Yatsyshin had practically no contact with the construction community,” Lev Kaplan, director of the Soyuzpetrostroy association, told Kommersant at the time. Dmitry Tyutin, general director of the investment and construction corporation Stroykomplekt, agreed with him: “It was difficult for a person who came from business to fit into the bureaucratic shoes, to get used to the fact that he does not make the final decisions himself. I think that’s one of the main reasons he left.”
In 2005, Yevgeny Yatsyshin left Smolny with the wording “of his own free will.” He immediately took over the post of vice-president of LSR Group, which had been left earlier. At his former place of work, Yatsyshyn was received with open arms. “Evgeny Vladimirovich was invited to the administration to solve specific problems, one of which was to build a trading system (for land. – Ed.). What he did brilliantly, in my opinion,” commented Igor Levit, First Vice President of LSR Group. Here are some different opinions…
The period of work of Yevgeny Yatsishin in Smolny was marked by a number of high-profile urban planning scandals. In 2004, 38 historical buildings were removed from state protection in St. Petersburg, most of them were subsequently demolished. Instead, elite residential areas appeared in the city center. It is easy to guess that they were built by LSR Group.
Later, at the request of city defenders, the prosecutor’s office conducted an audit, during which it came to the conclusion that the historical property from the submitted list could not be demolished or rebuilt until a historical and cultural examination was carried out, on the basis of which the objects should have been either included in the register of monuments or removed from protection. At the same time, experts from the council for cultural heritage under the city government found back in 2004 that 7 out of 38 buildings are valuable monuments. The St. Petersburg City Court sided with the applicants, but this decision was later overturned by a higher authority.
Among LSR’s projects that have made a lot of noise, we should mention the Nevsky 68 apart-hotel, built on the site of the demolished House of Writers (pictured). For the sake of the construction of the residential complex “Front Quarter”, the barracks of the Preobrazhensky Regiment were destroyed. But, perhaps, the most notorious scandal involving the developer was the failed reconstruction project of the Blockadnaya substation (traction power substation No. 11 on the Fontanka, 3A). In 2016, it was reported that the project of turning this object into an apart-hotel did not take place due to the mistakes of Smolny, in connection with this, the government of St. Petersburg was going to return 500 million rubles to LSR from the city budget.
Gone to rest
Like most Russian developers, LSR Group is going through hard times. At the end of 2022, she noted a decrease in real estate sales by 17% – to 506 thousand square meters. The company’s sales in monetary terms decreased by 3.2% to RUB 93 billion. Meanwhile, according to Novy Prospekt, Yevgeny Yatsyshyn has been living in the United States for almost a year now. “He always had real estate abroad. He wanted to leave, take a break from business. Perhaps recent events have accelerated the decision, ”said one of the sources of the publication. “He quickly packed up with his family and left,” added another. Most of the interlocutors, by the way, are sure that Yatsyshin does not plan to work in another country and will live on savings.
There are different opinions about the reasons for the departure of the former vice-president of the LSR. So, a deputy of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, ex-chairman of the board of directors of the Leader Group Group of Companies, Alexander Rassudov, believes that Yatsyshin’s move is connected with the situation in the country. But Vyacheslav Semenenko, General Director of Master Development, Vice President of the Russian Guild of Managers and Developers (RGUD), does not seek such connections and does not advise others: “Many people who started a business in the 90s now want to go on vacation. Yatsyshyn is a family man, and his departure could be related to his unwillingness to continue active management activities,” he said.
It is appropriate to assume that the former LSR top manager does not plan to return to Russia. At the same time, Yevgeny Yatsyshin is only 52 years old, which means that, contrary to the opinion of a number of his former colleagues, he will certainly try himself in new business projects abroad. After all, wealthy Russians show a growing demand for foreign real estate. At the end of last year, there were reports in the press that two large Russian developers are looking for sites for new projects in Dubai. In January-November 2022, 87.7 thousand real estate transactions were concluded in the largest city of the UAE, where Russian citizens transfer their capital, families and businesses, which is 44% more than a year earlier. More than half of the transactions fall on the primary market, which means that experienced developers will have a place to turn around.
By the way
According to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, together with JSC SKV SPB, Yevgeny Yatsyshyn was the founder of the garage-consumer cooperative Shpalernaya, 54. On shares with two other individuals, he owned the Zarechny cottage-operating consumer cooperative. In January 2022, he withdrew from the capital of both companies, there is no information about their current beneficiaries in open registries. In April of the same year, at a meeting of the Board of Directors of LSR Group, a new composition of the Management Board was adopted, in which the name of Yatsyshina was absent. Representatives of the company told reporters that his duties were transferred to Deputy General Director Leonid Sorokko, who has been working in the holding since 2013.