Kirovs Lipmans

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Kirovs Lipmans
A man aged 69 in dark grey suit with a blue neck tie
Born (1940-11-05) 5 November 1940 (age 81)
Liepāja, Latvia
Alma materLeningrad Institute of Railway and Transport Engineering, University of Latvia
OccupationBusiness person
Known forGrindeks, Latvian Ice Hockey Federation, Latvian Olympic Committee
AwardsPaul Loicq Award, Order of the Three Stars

Kirovs Lipmans (born 5 November 1940) is a Latvian business person and former ice hockey executive. He served as president of the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation from 1994 to 1995, and from 1998 to 2016; was a member of the Latvian Olympic Committee executive, and sat on International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) committees. He oversaw the increase of artificial ice hockey rinks in Latvia from three to seventeen, and the Latvia men's national team qualify for the top tier of the World Championships then play in four consecutive Olympic hockey tournaments. Lipmans oversaw the construction of Arena Riga for the hosting the 2006 IIHF World Championship, and Latvia was awarded co-hosting duties for the 2021 IIHF World Championship at the end of his presidency.

Lipmans in a native of Liepāja, graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Railway and Transport Engineering and the University of Latvia, and has worked as an economist. As chairman of the council of Grindeks since 2003, the company increased of annual profits from 10,000,000 in 2005 to €187,000,000 in 2021. He oversaw the construction of a production facility and laboratories, and transitioned Grindeks into a global company that exported 90 per cent of its products. He was made an Officer of the Order of the Three Stars for contributions to Latvia, and received the Paul Loicq Award from the IIHF for contributions to international ice hockey.

Early life and education

Kirovs Lipmans was born on 5 November 1940 in Liepāja, Latvia.[1][2][3] He graduated from the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute in 1961, and the Leningrad Institute of Railway and Transport Engineering in 1975.[1] He later worked for Valsts elektrotehniskā fabrika (VEF; State Electrotechnical Factory) as an economist, and as head of its computer base center. During the Singing Revolution, he was chairman of the co-operative VEF-Radio.[2][3] He later graduated from the University of Latvia with an engineer economist degree.[4]

Business career

A six-storey office tower and a two-storey warehouse clad in red bricks
Grindeks headquarters

Lipmans was president of Liepājas Metalurgs from 1996 to 2003, a metallurgy facility in Liepāja.[1] He served as a deputy on the Liepāja City Council from 2000 to 2004,[1][2][3] as a candidate of the Christian Democratic Union.[5] He has been the chairman of the council of Grindeks since 2003,[1][2][3] and also served as chairman of the councils of JSC Kalceks and JSC Tallinn pharmaceutical facilities, and as chairman of the board of Liplat Holdings Limited.[4] As of 2015, he was co-chairman of the Latvia-Belarus Economic Co-operation Council.[2][3]

Lipmans purchased a controlling interest in Grindeks from 2005 to 2006, when the company had an annual profit of 10,000,000.[6][7] Profits grew annually and by 2010, Latvian newspaper Ir reported him to be the second-richest person in the country.[8] Annual profits for Grindeks had increased to €147,000,000 by 2018, and Lipmans had overseen the construction of a new production facility and laboratories.[6] He transitioned Grindeks from having the majority of its sales in Commonwealth of Independent States countries, into a company with 90 per cent of its products exported and a presence in European, Asian and American markets.[9] As of 2021, Lipmans and his son Filips owned 50.02 per cent of the company's shares and Grindeks had annual profits of €187,000,000.[7] In May 2021, the Riga Regional Court fined them €1,900,000 for selling state-owned Grindeks shares in 2017, which Lipmans felt was politically motivated litigation.[7]

Ice hockey career

Lipmans served as president of the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation (LHF) from 1994 to 1995, and from 1998 to 2016;[10][11] and was also a member of the Latvian Olympic Committee executive.[1][4] He was appointed an advisor to International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) president René Fasel; and sat on the IIHF committees for strategy development, discipline and statutes.[1][2][3] As the LHF president, he oversaw the Latvia men's national team improve from the third tier of the World Championships in 1993, to qualification for the top tier in 1997.[12] The national team remained at the top tier during his tenure as president, and participated in four consecutive Olympic hockey tournaments from 2002 to 2014.[2][3] Lipmans was also involved in operating professional hockey teams in Latvia, and served as president of HK Liepājas Metalurgs from 1996 to 2003.[1] He was later a founding member of Dinamo Riga, and resigned from its council in 2008 to avoid a conflict of interest as the LHF president.[13]

Arena exterior clad in white and turquoise siding with three floors of glass windows, including a green area with flags of countries participating in the 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.
Arena Riga

When Lipmans began as LHF president, Latvia had only three artificial ice hockey rinks of which two met IIHF standards. As of 2015, this number had grown to 17 artificial ice rinks.[1][2] The LHF was awarded hosting duties for the 2006 IIHF World Championship,[2][3] and Lipmans oversaw the construction of Arena Riga for the event.[1] The 11,000-seat arena was a requirement for hosting the World Championship, and was delayed due to disagreements on the construction contract and finding an investor to fund the project. The Baltic Times reported that Lipmans was to blame for the delays, and that he was asked to resign due to a conflict of interest with owning shares in the arena's management company.[14] The LHF also hosted lower division tournaments of the IIHF World Women's Championship in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2014.[1] At the end of his presidency, the LHF was awarded co-hosting duties with Belarus for the 2021 IIHF World Championship.[11] Lipmans was succeeded by Aigars Kalvītis as the LHF president in October 2016.[15]

Honors and awards

Lipmans was recognized for his contributions to Latvia when made an Officer of the Order of the Three Stars in 2001, and was given the Sportsperson of the Year Award from the Latvian Sports Federation in 2006.[1][2][3] He received the "Valetudo Patriae" (Health for the Motherland Award) from the Latvian Medical Association in 2017, in recognition of contributions to the development of medicines and health care.[16] He received the Paul Loicq Award from the IIHF in 2018, in recognition of contributions to international ice hockey.[11][12][17]

Personal life

Lipmans is married to Anna Lipmans (born 1948), a neurologist and member of the Latvian Medical Association.[18] They have a family home in Jūrmala, and have donated money to sports and children; and sponsored concerts including Inese Galante's opera Summertime, and the Jurmala Young Pop Singer Competition operated by Laima Vaikule.[6]

Lipmans's ancestry in Latvia dates to the 17th century. In a 2020 interview, he stated that his mother always said, "You live in Latvia, and you have to leave something good for this country".[9] When his cousins in the United States and Canada asked him to leave Latvia during the political changes in the 1990s, Lipmans expressed a desire to stay and stated, "No, I will stay in Latvia, because this is my country, and I will do my best to make this a good and rich country".[9] He stated that his personal motto in life has been, "If I promise something, I will do it"![2][3]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 "Kirovs Lipmans". Latvian Sports (in latviešu). 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 "Sporta federāciju profils". Latvijas Sporta federāciju padomes (in latviešu). 13 April 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 "Latvijas Hokeja Federācija: Prezidents Kirovs Lipmans". Sporto (in latviešu). 2019. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Supervisory Council: Kirovs Lipmans". Grindeks. 2021. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  5. "Liepājas dome". Centrālā vēlēšanu komisija (Central Election Commission) (in latviešu). 2001. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Mengiša, Inta (29 September 2019). "Kirovs Lipmans atklāj, ka palicis gandrīz bez naudas". Jauns (in latviešu). Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 LETA (20 May 2021). "Court of appeal enforces EUR 1.9 million from Grindeks shareholders in favour of the state". Baltic News Network. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  8. "Žurnāls publicē Latvijas bagātāko cilvēku sarakstu". Ir (in latviešu). Riga, Latvia. 30 October 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Jasinska, Marija (17 November 2020). "Businessman Kirovs Lipmans: I have to leave something good for my country". Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze. Riga, Latvia.
  10. "Chairman of the Grindeks's Council Kirovs Lipmans named the winner of the IIHF Paul Loicq Award". Grindeks. 22 May 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 LETA (20 May 2018). "Lipmans svinīgi saņēmis IIHF pasniegto balvu par hokeja attīstību". Delfi (in latviešu). Archived from the original on 10 September 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Sanful, John (20 May 2018). "IIHF Hall of Fame inducts new members". International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  13. "LHF Prezidents Kirovs Lipmans Izstājies No A/S Rīgas Dinamo". Latvian Ice Hockey Federation (in latviešu). 27 May 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  14. Eglitis, Aaron (8 April 2004). "Hockey arena project in peril". The Baltic Times. Riga, Latvia.Free to read
  15. Upenieks, Krišs (7 October 2016). "Lipmanu nomet no troņa, par Latvijas hokeja vadītāju kļūst Kalvītis". Sporta Centrs (in latviešu). Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  16. "Grindeks padomes priekšsēdētājs Kirovs Lipmans saņem Latvijas Ārstu biedrības balvu". Grindeks (in latviešu). 25 September 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  17. "Blake, Chelios, Alfredsson, Lehtinen elected to IIHF Hall of Fame". National Hockey League. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  18. Minchom, Clive (2 March 2014). "Latvian Kirovs Lipmans' Pharma Company Grindeks Reports Solid Earnings for 2013". Jewish Business News. Israel. Retrieved 29 August 2021.

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