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Category: History

INSURANCE ASSOCIATION "SALAMANDRA" (1918 1922)



STRAKHOVOYE SALAMANDRA ASSOCIATION (1918 - 1922)

The insurance association "Salamandra" founded in 184 6 g was one of the largest insurance companies of pre-revolutionary Russia.

Expecting a possibility of the worst option of succession of events after the October revolution of 1917, the management of Salamandra hastily started creation of subsidiaries abroad and transfer to it as authorized capitals of the large capitals. Registration of subsidiaries did them free from the Russian taxation and completely brought out of jurisdiction of Bolsheviks. By December, 1918 this process was almost completed. Competent and timely "leaving" from the Russian market struck with crisis and which is purposefully destroyed by the Bolshevist government had the most favorable consequences for Salamandra and caused her registration in the leader of the Russian business in emigration.

Already initial stage of activity outside Russia showed advantages of the plan of Salamandra. The moment of restoration of the legal life, most difficult and uncertain for other joint-stock companies, abroad had for it no little serious value: by the end of 192 0 g. "Salamander" possessed in America and Europe group of the subsidiaries owning considerable means and coping lawful, grindings of sight of legislations of countries of residence, management.

Capital outflow was carried out as follows. January 1, 1918. "Salamander" transferred to the Resalamandra joint-stock company registered in Copenhagen, all the foreign operations. A final agreement on conditions of transfer was signed by board of association in Petrograd on June 25, 1918. Under this agreement, except reserves of insurance premiums and losses (that is obligations for a passive), the surplus (excess) of an asset over a passive which was under the charter the property of shareholders of association and was 914,554 dollars and 1.5 million Danish kroner (about 320,000 dollars) that 37.3% of the main and spare capitals of head office equaled was transferred to management of Resalamandra.

Meanwhile events in Russia completely justified provident actions of board of Salamandra for evacuation of means. However there was also the "Russian" balance of association which assets exceeded 67 million evils. rub (about 33 mln. dollars). For the purpose of its rescue on January 14, 1919 in Kiev which was under the power of S. Petliura the extraordinary general meeting of the shareholders owning in total 10 72 6 shares (more than a half of authorized capital) was convened. The meeting made the decision on allocation from the assets of 5 million rubles which were available in Ukraine as new fixed capital of Salamandra with delivery of free shares "by calculation a share on a share"

also elected board. From this point two Russian Salamandra began to exist: one with board in Petrograd which elimination went just at that time, and so-called "Southern Salamandra" with board in Kiev, actually and carrying out all primary activity. Such state of affairs was a legal incident and contradicted any legislation and the charter of association, but it was the unique decision.

As the board had no illusions concerning reliability of the Kiev haven, it along with formation of "the Southern Salamandra" actively continued development of subsidiaries. In January - February, 1918 in the Balkans the reinsurance society "Salamander Adriatic Sea" was founded. The capital of society was defined in 2 mln. dollars distributed on 4 0 thousand actions on 50 dollars everyone. Three quarters of this capital, that is 1.5 mln. dollars, were covered with the deposit stored in Resalamandr for the purpose of free distribution to shareholders of 3 0 thousand actions for this sum. Other 10 thousand actions were supposed to be put on active sale.

Cannot but cause respect this fact so atypical for other Russian joint stock companies in emigration: the management of Salamandra did not make attempt "to come off" the shareholders and by creation everything new and new subsidiaries actually to appropriate the initial capital. Moreover, Salamandra all years of the existence in emigration continued to pay dividends to the shareholders more or less regularly.

Spring of 1921 activity of Salamandra in the Balkans which were chosen as a haven for the main part of the Russian capital of the company was especially stirred up. For this purpose in November - December of 192 0 g the managing director of Salamandra N.A. Belotsvetov undertook a trip across Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina for clarification of conditions and opportunities of work in the insurance market. At the same time there was a preparation for the solution of the main thing at that time of a question - to concealment of the capital of association from Bolsheviks and, whenever possible, from the western creditors who suffered losses as a result of world war and a Bolshevist revolution. As a result the multistage plan which essence was as follows was developed.

In February, 1921 the board made the decision on replacement, and on absolutely legal ground, shares of the insurance association Salamandra founded in 1846, stocks of newly established society. At the same time in view of impossibility of exact definition of shareholders of association for that period of time, all "Russian" actions were made out a name of certain "Intermediary" - the Czech firm which chief owners were board members of Salamandra, "the protecting interests of shareholders of association".

Other key question - attraction of the foreign capital in the new firm which received the name "Triglav" to it - was also allowed for giving of externally "non-russian" society

Belotsvetov in January - February, 1921 during visit of Prague and Copenhagen. 6 - On February 7 at the board meeting which was taking place in Berlin was decided to charge to "Intermediary" acquisition of stocks of the foreign insurance companies at the expense of Salamandra, meaning formation of authorized capital Triglava. Means for this operation were assigned from balance of Resalamandra.

As a result, at the last stage of formation, "Triglav" represented joint-stock company which 7 0% of stocks belonged to Salamandra acting through "Intermediary", 2 0% of the capital were brought by several Slavic banks, the rest in 10% was distributed among insurance companies of Denmark. The list of founders Triglava was the following picture: "Intermediary" (controlling stake), Czechoslovak "Zhivnostensk of bank", Yugoslavian "Yugoslavensk of bank" and "Slovensk of bank", Copenhagen group of shareholders.

Selection of shareholders Triglava, naturally, was not accidental.

"Zhivnostensk of bank", participating 250 thousand dynes. in the general capital, provided Triglava, besides communications with Prague, great opportunities in Yugoslavia where it financed a significant amount of banking institutions and industrial enterprises.

"Yugoslavensk of bank", in February, 1921 moved the board to Zagreb, was at that time the largest bank of the Kingdom of Serbians, Croats, Slovenes (KS,C,S) which had big participation in industrial and transport enterprises of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and partly Serbia, and its representation in Belgrade was stronger, than local Serbian banks. This bank was characterized by board of Salamandra as "representation of the Croatian bourgeoisie figuring very much at creation of the state of Serbians, Croats and Slovenes".

"Slovensk of bank" in Ljubljana, united tops of the Slovenian bourgeoisie, credited practically all yugoslavyansky export and import. Moreover the bank had interest for Triglava in mind of that influence which the ambassador of KSHS, close to bank, in Czechoslovakia Gribar had in Belgrade and Prague.

At last, the Copenhagen group of shareholders consisting of N.A. Belotsvetov, Ya.A. Tikston, G.A. Talbot, E. Treysler

V. Vitske (managing director of Scandinavia insurance company), Grena (co-owner of Vitske and Gren insurance agency), Bramsen and Becker (owners of a large insurance agency), provided Triglava solid communication in the Danish insurance and reinsurance markets.

The location of board Triglava was planned in Zagreb. This choice was promoted by a number of factors. First, the capital of Croatia in 1921 turned into the center of concentration of the main credit institutions and large-scale industry of the country that opened the wide field for development

insurance market. Secondly, the geographical location of Zagreb provided faster and convenient intercourse with the KSHS other centers, with the North and Adriatic Sea, and the proximity of Trieste and to Fiuma was done by the provision "Triglava" almost seaside, facilitating work on all Adriatic coast. Thirdly, Zagreb endured a construction boom that opened essentially new opportunities for investment of means into the highly reliable industry. At last, fourthly, also the fact that the Balkans in 1921 became one of the main regions of concentration and activity of emigration was of particular importance, providing to those Russian enterprise structures favorable circumstances for deployment of the business focused on needs of compatriots.

The share capital Triglava was defined in 4 million dynes. also it is distributed on 8 thousand bearer shares with a possibility of increase in fixed capital up to 5 million dynes. Distribution of actions between groups of founders was made as follows: "Intermediary" brought 2,730,000 dynes., the Copenhagen group - 520,000, Slavic group - 750,000.

Activities of Salamandra for capital outflow from Russia began to bear fruit in the spring of 1919. So, dividends of Resalamandra for 1918 were 6%, and for 1919 - 10% per annum. The book value of its actions was 5.6 million Danish kroner (1,474,000 dollars) in November, 1919. Considering that the face value of actions Resalamandra was 5,000 kroner, there was an increase in their book value by 4 0% of all in a year. Moreover, the Danish government audit commission in January, 1919 stated to the vice president of Resalamandra that "there is no such model bookkeeping anywhere and there are no such high reserves anywhere, as in & #34; Ресаламандре"".

Violently also the American representative office of Salamandra developed. In 1914 its turn made 6 mln. dollars. From this sum actually an award of Salamandra were 2.8 mln. dollars at 640,000 dollars of surplus of reserves. In 1919 the bonus sum was 2.7 5 mln. dollars at 62 5,000 dollars of surplus of reserves, that is the association managed to reach pre-war turns.

Taking into account vigorous activity of Resalamandra in Denmark and considerable increase of its balance, there was a doubling of balance of insurance company in general for the end of 1919

The board, among other problems, was anxious with possible reproach of future not Bolshevist Government of the Russian Federation in money transfer abroad therefore when forming balances of foreign subsidiaries in 1919 - 1921 the possibility of their subsequent division for the purpose of homecoming of the taken-out capitals was considered.

Spring of 1921 formation of network of foreign subsidiaries and capital outflow from Russia by insurance association "Salamandra" were complete. Purely formally it still kept this name which was mentioned in all constituent

documents of subsidiaries, including printing houses and Salamandra publishing houses in Riga where the Slovo newspaper, the Perezvony, Yuny chitatel and Deshevaya biblioteka magazines were issued. However carrying out actually safety operations was stopped since January 1 of 192 3 g

Literature:

Russia in exile: Fate of the Russian emigrants abroad. M, 1999.

Russian without Fatherland: Essays of anti-Bolshevist emigration 20 - the 40th years. M, 2000.

S.S. Ippolitov

Terrance Crawford
Other scientific works: