Geneva, Switzerland is known for many things, but charity isn’t one of them. But a closer look at Gennady Timchenko, one of the city’s prominent residents, suggests it should be.
Recognized worldwide for its discretion, privacy, and secrecy—three different ways of saying the same thing, particularly when it comes to banking—Geneva is one of Europe’s most frequented cities. Home of the United Nations and a shimmering blue lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lush, sprawling parks, it’s no surprise that prominent businessmen and government officials are drawn to this location. This is not the city for those seeking millions in the $229 Million Powerball lottery; Geneva’s affluent residents are often self-made businessmen.
Located at the heart of Europe, Geneva is more than the world capital of private banking. It also serves as a discrete Mecca for peace-seeking residents and provides a quiet and natural escape from the frenzied European cities within its reach. A lesser known fact is that Geneva is also home to some of the world’s most active philanthropists. Gennady Timchenko, the highly-regarded Finnish energy trading businessman, is one such example.
A resident of Geneva, Gennady Timchenko has helped contribute to the city’s cultural landscape. Three years ago he formed a non-profit organization called Neva Foundation. Gennady Timchenko’s Neva Foundation was created in partnership with his wife, Elena Timchenko, to promote and finance a wide range of cultural projects between Switzerland and Russia. The Neva Foundation, of which the unmatched Russian philharmonic conductor Yuri Temirkanov is a trustee, focuses its mission on lyrical art and works in partnership with the magnificent Geneva Opera House.
Gennady Timchenko also took his philanthropy endeavors beyond Swiss borders. In 2010 he established Russia-based Lagoda, another charitable foundation to support Russia’s older generation by combating poverty amongst Russian retirees. Lagoda’s aim is to help fund projects and activities for Russia’s elderly.