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Telman Ismailov – the Financier in Blood

Saturday, 08 May 2010

telman ismailovTelman Ismailov was born to the family of «shadow capitalists» in the Soviet Union with his father, the native to the ethnic group of Mountain Jews Mardan Ismailov. The father worked in the sphere of textile trade as a responsible person to arranged the underground production based on market mechanisms. Therefore, it is obvious that Telman has the business acumen in his blood.

Telman Ismailov was born on October 26, 1956 in Baku, the tenth out of twelve children in the family. From the early childhood Telman was prepared to develop the business of his father and since the age of 14 he assisted his father in every deal. After he finished the school, he started his studies at the State Economic Institute of Azerbaijan and at the age of 18 Telman proceeded to his first business activity as the director of one of the stores in Baku. Soon after Telman was called on duty to serve in the army and in two years he kept on doing what he started with his father. As for the study, he was shifted to the Moscow Institute of National Economy named after Plekhanov. After he graduated from it, he was employed as the inspecting expert at the Ministry of Trade and in 1982 he moved to Moscow but soon he had to come back to his native town for a couple of years. He got married and had two sons in the marriage and in 1985 he moved to Moscow for permanent residence.   

That was the time of the system restructuring and individuals with business acumen and financial eye were given the lucky chances to risk and open private enterprises on the legal basis, though. And Telman Ismailov also opened the cooperative store like the most entrepreneurs of that time. Then in 1989 he registered the brand AST (initials of his two sons (Alik, Sarhan) and himself). He succeeded in his trade that in the soonest time he had 50 stores opened in Moscow.

Later on, the AST-group penetrated into the Moscow markets and in the early 90s Ismailov was involved in business in Luzhniki market. He became one of the founders of the well-known Cherkizovskiy market in 1993. Telman Ismailov acquired solid funds on the markets to be sufficient to invest assets into various projects he deemed profitable. So, he founded knitted goods factory, hosiery and the factory to manufacture leather accessories in Moscow. The taxi company was founded called «AST-taxi» with one hundred and fifty vehicles as the start. Also Ismailov invested funds in the publishing industry and he acquired the «Moscow Printing House».

Anyhow, the pearls of Telman’s business empire are his construction company and the restaurant «Prague». In the mid of the 90s the legendary restaurant was put to sale at the auction and Ismailov purchased it immediately. Later on, he had to invest approximately 30 million dollars for renovation works of the building. Now Telman Ismailov is not ready to sell the restaurant for any money though he received somewhat 250 million dollars for it from the foreign businessmen.

As for the construction section of the «AST-Kapstroy» company, it appeared to be the investor and constructor of the most elite office buildings in Moscow, office centers on Krasnaya Presna and Poklonnaya Gora. The group is involved in reconstruction of «Voentorg» (the universal store trading in military outfit and accessories), it owns the real estate in Moscow with the total area of 1,5 million square meters.

On the top of it, Ismailov invested assets in opening the most expensive in Europe hotel «Mardan Palace» in Antalya (Turkey). It took him around 1.5 billion USD dollars to construct the hotel. Currently the most expensive room in the hotel costs 19 thousand dollars per day.

Telman Ismailov does not give up and plans to proceed to the construction of the other hotel in Turkey and purchase of the football club of Turkey «Antalyaspor».

All in all, 31 companies constitute the AST-group, among which are «AST-Gof» (hotel business), «AST-Kapstroy», «AST-Shield» (security agency), «Ast-Prague», «AST-Taxi», «AST-Gold» (specialized on manufacture of gold items), LLC «CVUM Trading House» (managing «Voentorg»). The annual turnover of the company is evaluated as 2 billion dollars and the cost of its assets is around 3 billions USD. The personal assets of Ismailov total around a billion USD dollars, by estimation of the experts.

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