Oleg Boyko: biography of the founder of the international investment company Finstar
“I think that being happy is the only goal of a person in general, there can’t be any other. My level of happiness is 100 percent. And what it takes is purely individual”.
Oleg Boyko is a banker and chairman of the Supervisory Board of Finstar Financial Group. The company was founded in 1996 by a group of investors headed by Oleg Boyko. By 2021, Finstar had consolidated its presence in 30 countries and had over USD 2 bln in assets under management. The Finstar Financial Group focuses mainly on the fintech and banking sector (financial technology, banks). Previously, the company successfully implemented projects in IT, real estate, FMCG-retail, media and entertainment.
Road to Success: Biography of Oleg Boyko
Oleg Boyko was born on September 28, 1964. His parents are scientists. His mother worked in the Institute of Medicinal Plants of the Russian Academy of Sciences, his father was the head of the Vzlet NPO — a leading enterprise in the development and production of radioelectronics for aircraft.
It seemed that the future of the son of scientists was predetermined and must be closely connected to science. At first it was so: Oleg Boyko graduated from a physics and mathematics school and entered the Moscow Aviation Institute, and in 2006 he graduated from the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
Judging by Oleg Boyko’s biography, all roads for a successful career as a scientist were open to him. But he decided to tie his life with business. He immerses himself in every project. It predetermined his success — since 2005 he has been included in Forbes lists. In 2021, Oleg Boyko took 93rd place in the ranking of “200 richest businessmen” according to the magazine.
“I found out about the fact that I made the Forbes list from a text message from a friend of mine. I did not know and did not think about it at all. As one of my friends said: “Some people in Russia had 300 million and felt like they had 300 million. And when the Forbes ranking came along, they started to feel like they were the ones with minus 700.” And that’s the benchmark that started pulling everyone closer to a billion.”
Early projects of billionaire Oleg Boyko
Oleg Boyko has been in business for over thirty years. One of his first projects was Evraz company, founded together with entrepreneur Alexander Abramov. Due to successful management decisions Evraz Group became one of the world leaders among metallurgical companies. In 2004, the businessman sold his stake, according to media reports, for USD 600 million.
In 1996 Oleg Boyko co-founded the Finstar Financial Group, which became an investment vehicle for the businessman. Thanks to his good intuition and managerial skills, the businessman manages to find ambitious projects, invest in them, and develop them. This allows him to maximize his profits when selling the business.
“Rule # 1 in investing is to invest in something you understand. You have been working throughout your life in the food industry, for example, then invest in companies in that sector, because you have at least some industrial expertise.”
A successful example of investment is Rive Gauche, which turned from a regional player in St. Petersburg into a major market leader. In 2007, Finstar Financial Group invested in the Rive Gauche chain of decorative cosmetics and perfumery stores and became its majority shareholder. In 2012, Oleg Boyko again successfully sold part of the shares, reducing his stake in the company to 24%.
Current projects of Oleg Boyko
Over the 25 years of its existence Finstar’s functions and resources have expanded significantly. In 2011, the company began investing in the fintech sphere, and in 2015, the DFI financial company was founded, operating in the markets of Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Boyko aims to expand Finstar’s pool of operations and project portfolio specifically through alternative financing and investments in FinTech and banking; Finstar also sees its future in strategic alliances with banks, major retailers and marketplaces.
“I always have some kind of goals for different businesses. Those are the goals I’m pursuing. I don’t have a goal that I’m going to achieve once and be happy for life. It doesn’t work, so there is no path of happiness, happiness is the path, as oriental philosophers say. This is a scientific and medical fact.”
Oleg Boyko’s charitable activities
The businessman has repeatedly said in interviews that not only his commercial projects are important to him, but also his charitable activities. For Oleg Boyko, one of the main tasks was the development of para-sports in the country and support for athletes with disabilities.
“Everything should be at the service of society. Business should work for the society and should have a social face”.
The entrepreneur founded the Parasport Foundation to support Paralympic sports. The fund helps people with disabilities and limited physical abilities to fulfill their potential in all spheres of life.
Oleg Boyko also heads the Commission on the Development of Paralympic Sport under the Russian Paralympic Committee. During the pandemic, the businessman helped more than 2,000 Russian athletes. In 2020 he also participated in the Forbes 400 philanthropy summit.