OLEG BOYKO

Oleg Boyko

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Professional Career

Oleg Boyko has over 25 years of entrepreneurial and private equity experience in financial services, banking, retail, steel industry, real estate and entertainment. Mr. Boyko is currently the principal beneficiary of Finstar Financial Group investment holding, a diversified private equity firm with an estimated market value of assets under management exceeding $2 billion.

Since the end of the 1990s, Mr. Boyko has been active in securities trading as well as real estate development.

In 1999 he launched Evraz Group with a business partner, buying the assets of steel firms, and consolidating those assets. Mr. Boyko guided the company’s strategic development, built a professional management team, and greatly enhanced both operating performance and shareholder value.

In 2000 Mr. Boyko and a team of professional executives formed Finstar Financial Group as an investment vehicle and management company in order to identify, invest in, and actively manage businesses on behalf of Mr. Boyko and other private investors.

Finstar has focused on propelling operational progress at EvrazHolding, and in 2001 the holding began to expand into other businesses. In 2004 Finstar sold its stake in EvrazHolding to the company’s management for an estimated $600-700 million. Since then the Group has drawn its focus on other businesses.

Oleg Boyko told in an interview: “I sold my interest in EvrazHolding in 2004 to focus on developing other businesses, because I prefer more intellectual games. I have been always attracted to sophisticated finance, and also to retail. These are more difficult to develop and turn around, but that is much more interesting to me.”

Finstar Financial Group currently specializes in direct investments into fintech businesses, retail, real estate and operates through its subsidiaries in the European Union, Asia and the CIS countries. Boyko exited the gaming business in 2014.

“Our investment holding follows the following pattern: We identify a segment with a high return potential and look for a small company that either enjoys a unique market position or holds some sort of a business know-how. Then we buy between 51 and 75 percent of its equity - this range allows us to run the company at our discretion and to get the maximum returns on our investment upon exit. For instance, the Rive Gauche perfume and cosmetics chain used to be a regional player with stores located mainly in St. Petersburg. Under our influence, it took them four years to become the leader of Russia's cosmetics market. Revenue reached 15.6 billion rubles ($501 million) in 2010 and 21.3 billion rubles ($685 million) in 2011. We sold a controlling stake there in 2012. Once annual growth rates fall below 20-25 percent, it's time for us to exit”, - Oleg Boyko told to RBTH

Having previously invested in the traditional banking sector for many years, the focus now is on fintech and digital financial services. This is an area of high growth potential and the in-depth industry knowledge means the Group can identify industry best practice and therefore, are a valued senior partner in new financial businesses. Regarding some media reports Boyko is one of the principal investors of the 4finance company.

Global investor Oleg Boyko identifies fintech as a core component of his five-year investment plan. In 2017 he has earmarked US$150 million to put towards the fintech space in a bid to provide funds to broaden Finstar international presence in mobile-first consumer finance. Oleg Boyko aims to fortify the Group’s holdings in innovative consumer technologies and to spread its portfolio exposure to fast-growing emerging markets across Europe and Asia-Pacific. A year before the announcement, Mr. Boyko made investments in several European fintech enterprises.

Boyko describes his current international PE firm’s investment strategy: “Finstar is stage-agnostic, but the core focus will be on early-stage deals from the seed stage through to Round B. Finstar will maintain its focus on transformational financial services platforms and businesses. We will look more broadly at our investment thesis and aside from the core focus on FinTech and InsureTech, we will also seek FinTech-enabling models within realms of AI, data science, AdTech and MarTech.”
 
Finstar’s philosophy of partnership brings strategic value and insight to growth investments, allowing its companies to succeed in complex developing markets. They nurture the businesses they invest in, providing them with expert advice of the highest calibre. They also offer fintech companies the freedom to continue innovating and to grow at a pace that they dictate themselves. They have highly developed expertise at the HQ level, which allows it to serve as a centre of excellence.

Oleg Boyko occupies the 1561st spot on Forbes list of world`s richest people ranking with a personal wealth estimated at $1.5 billion.


Film Industry


Mr. Boyko has also been a keen participant in the film industry, co-producing Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

“Naturally. I went to Hollywood and lived there for six months. I wanted not to just make a film, but to understand how the film industry is built. I have to say, I found many things that surprised me. I bought a bunch of books and the first of them, on the first page, found in large print (paraphrasing, not verbatim): "people invest in a movie, as a rule, for emotional reasons, from a desire to join the art. Someone has to carry the creative risks." The most important and unpleasant law in the film industry is that out of ten films shot, seven films lose money, one breaks even and only two earn money. Meaning that this is, in fact, venture capital investment,” Oleg Boyko commented.

The movie Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For was released in August 2014. Immediately after the release of the first part of Sin City in 2005, director Robert Rodriguez said that the film will have a sequel. However, shooting the sequel did not begin until the fall of 2012.


   Oleg Boyko as Chairman of Finstar Financial Group

In 1996 Boyko and a team of professional executives formed Finstar Financial Group as an investment vehicle and management company in order to identify, invest in, and actively manage businesses on behalf of Boyko and other private investors.

In 2002, Boyko`s Finstar founded Ritzio Entertainment Group, investing in casinos and gaming, a business that expanded across Russia and internationally. In 2010, Boyko became an investor in lottery businesses in Russia and Ukraine, including the national lottery to support the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. He has subsequently disposed of all his lottery interests.

In 2003, Finstar purchased a controlling stake in a Latvian commercial bank, Baltic Trust Bank.  In 2006, Finstar sold its 79% stake to GE Capital, the banking and finance arm of General Electric.

In 2006 Boyko entered the real estate market through a new holding company, Finstroy.

In 2006, under Boyko, Finstar acquired 75% of Russia’s second largest cosmetics and perfumery chain, Rive Gauche.  In 2012, Boyko sold 51% of his stake to a consortium of investors but continues to hold 24% of the business.

In 2013, Boyko announced Finstar’s investment in FashionTV, a fashion channel which broadcasts in 192 countries. .

In 2016, Boyko’s Finstar furthered its tech investments by announcing its acquisition of a 51% stake in Prestamos Prima, in addition to leading Spotcap’s third funding round.

Currently Finstar has about $2 billion in assets under management.  The diversified investment company holds ownership stakes in fintech, real estate, entertainment, IT, retail products and more. Finstar clearly wants to become a significant player in emerging fintech industry


  Beyond Finstar

Oleg Boyko has over 25 years of entrepreneurial and private equity experience and his business interests include banking, financial services, retail, leisure, heavy industry, and technology.
 
Since the end of the 1990s, Mr. Boyko has been active in securities trading as well as real estate development. He arranged a buy-out, roll-up, and restructuring for three of the leading steel mills in Russia and formed EvrazHolding, the largest steel company in Russia. Mr. Boyko guided the company’s strategic development, built a professional management team, and greatly enhanced both operating performance and shareholder value.

In the mid of 1990s Oleg Boyko founded Finstar investment holding and prefers to develop businesses in different sectors analyzing various markets.

In an interview he gave to RBTH, Mr. Boyko briefly summarized: “I am consciously avoiding the oil industry, even though I've had a chance to take part in privatization of industrial facilities. I dabbled in metals back in the day, but that was by chance. We swapped metals and mining companies' bank debts for equity, and two years later we created the EvrazHolding metals giant.”

“I sold my interest in Evraz in 2004 to focus on developing other businesses, because I prefer more intellectual games. I have been always attracted to sophisticated finance, and also to retail. These are more difficult to develop and turn around, but that is much more interesting to me,” he added.