The fullest cunning of russian of billionaires

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Romancing over football. Money is money. Roman Abramovich’s club Chelsea holds the first place in the premier-league and Arsenal and Manchester United are left almost hopelessly behind. Chelsea went through the group tournament of UEFA Champions League without losses but in the round of 16 on February the 23rd and March the 8th “Red Roman’s” team will play with Spanish Barcelona that is quite capable to stop the victorious Chelsea train.

The first season of this British club was chaotic. Donations of Roman Abramovich helped to strengthen Chelsea but coach Claudio Raniery failed to reorganize the team performance and some of newly obtained players were not in line with club’s tasks. Last summer Peter Kenion, Chelsea General Director, made a few successful acquisitions. And the main bargain is Jose Mourinho who is a football prototype model of Roman Abramovich. He has been an unassuming interpreter of the foreign coach in Portugal and Spain but developed into a great coach who gained with Portugal team Porto two main club trophies. And now he has the task to repeat this with Chelsea.

The British premiere-league admitted Roman Abramovich and now he is considered a participant in the British football development but the relationships with the European grandees are not unclouded. Russian businessman’s money failed to help Chelsea to enter G-14. G-14 is the organization that unites eighteen European super clubs such as Real, Milan, Arsenal and etc. The organization repeatedly expresses its desire to realize a club championship only for G-14 members. The bosses of G-14 believe that this championship could have a positive impact on TV-ratings and consequently on payments that clubs get for their games broadcasts. For the time being Chelsea remains outside of the leading teams agglomeration but sooner or later the football grandees have to come to an agreement with this world-wide popular club.

Romancing over Britain. When Roman Abramovich began to sell his Russian assets and bought Chelsea the gossiping on his final move to Britain started. And all actions that businessman took during last year only supported this version. Roman Abramovich once and for all left the Russian Aluminium, part of his food industry assets went under management control. In businessman’s and his partners’ ownership remain only Sibneft (sooner or later it will be sold to a strategical investor), holding of shares in dilapidated Yukos and offered for sale Prodo and the National trade alliance.

Because of the sale of his Russian assets Roman Abramovich became an outsider for Russia but the purchase of Westerns assets did not turn him into a Western society insider.

Last summer The Times published a string of articles on possible connection of Roman Abramovich to disappearance of the IMF money and on unextinguished debt of Runicom SA company to EBRD. And a few weeks ago The British Broadcasting Corporation aired a documentary on this subject. The representatives of Roman Abramovich announced that if EBRD do not take away its claims he will bring an action against them for libel. Roman Abramovich is sure that Runicom SA completely settled accounts with EBRD…

In December the term of office of the Governor of Chukotka expires. President Putin will name a new “Chukotka chief” while Roman Abramovich more than once stressed that he did not want to be the regions’ head anymore.

In the meantime the businessman’s family settled down in London long ago and he comes to Russia only for the Council of State meetings and for sporting events kind of CSKA and Avangard hockey game. But to the usual question on his final move to the West Roman Abramovich usually answers: “I feel comfortable in Moscow. I spent here the greater part of my life”.



He is the most famous in the West Russian billionaire. British football fans love him, he loves yachts, castles, planes, British football, his wife and children. Hundreds articles were written on him, there are movies about him, but he doesn’t like to be interviewed. He can buy everything, a friend including. However during the European football championship he came to the Russian House for free t-shirt. Nobody knows what he’s up to after his Chelsea wins England’s and Europe’s. But there are Formula 1, NBA, NHL… waiting.


The head of the “Capitalistic Ministry of aluminium industry of Russian Federation” also known as Russian Aluminium. He is in state of permanent conflict with the President of the RAO EES of Russia Anatoliy Chubais. Oleg Deripaska always pays and controlled by him Ingosstrakh company pays too. Last year he settled a conflict with businessman Mr. Andrey Andreyev #199). Nowadays he lives and acts according to a slogan: “I support Kuban’ manufacturers!” During a little more than a year he gained control over Kuban’ football team, air company, oil-gas plant…


In one of the interviews he admitted he wasn’t a professional. But it doesn’t prevent him from being a professional in compiling teams of managers for his professional moneymaking. In fact he is the main illicit dealer in Russia but he plays with medium-term positions, not with short-term ones. His every deal is profitable. His operations with shares of the Sun Interbrew brewery company will make any corporate invader feel envious of him.


He controls the most profitable metallurgical industrial complex in Russia. He spends his leisure time in sporting (stand shooting). His hobby spreads over his industrial complex: the NLMK manufacturers shooting dishes in huge amounts. Moreover his passion and his patronage over Shooters union helped the development of this sport in Russia; Russian shooters had shown impressive results during last year Olympics in Greece.


Viktor Veksel’berg carries his business with the USA resident Mr. Leonid Blavatnik. But if Leonid Blavatnik holds the first position in the rating of foreigners making business in Russia then Viktor Veksel’berg occupies only the 5th line in the main rating. Last year Viktor Veksel’berg bought two companies that operate in fields previously unknown to him: Komkor-TV and the investment company Sovlink where he had blocking share holds only.


On the threshold of placing the AFK Sistema shares in broker’s board – and after ten years absence – he is at the wheel of a huge “system ship” again and takes the post of the corporation President. From now on he bears all responsibilities. Well nobody doubts IPO success – debugged business grows by tens percents per year. “System people” boast a new ambitious project: to found an enterprise that is similar to Silicon Valley in Moscow region.


The Siberian hermit. Long ago all oil-gas industry high executives have transferred their head-quarters and personal residencies to Moscow (some of them moved abroad). Mr. Bogdanov still lives and works in cold Surgut, he doesn’t buy sport cars and yachts, he doesn’t ski in Courchevel. He considers himself as an owner of 0,3625% Surgutneftegaz shares only which could be estimated as no more than $100 millions. A former “Red director” reminds now an ascetic “American billionaire”.


There are two distinguishing features combined in his character – a “must” features for any Russian businessman. First, an ability to feel modern trends in business environment. Severstal was one of the first companies that placed its large share-holding at broker’s board and did buy some foreigner’s assets. Second, an ability to find a common language with the State. Aleksey Mordashov’s been a trustee for Vladimir Putin during later election company. Severstal bought the shareholding from “Russia Bank” – some observers call this share “the financial center of St. Petersburg’ group”.


In spite of equal shares with Vladimir Potanin in their business he’s always considered as non-public figure. He still keeps the title of the “richest bachelor in Russia”, a part of his time-off he devotes to sports. It is Mikhail Prokhorov who convinced Norilsk Nickel to buy two sport clubs in Moscow – basketball team CSKA and football club Moscow. Since July 2001 he keeps the manager post – Director General of Norilsk Nickel.


Some people call him “big capital’s apologist”. In 1995 he proposed the idea of pawn auctions that resulted in formation of large-scale fortunes. Gossips related to would-be arrests for Vladimir Potanin circulate permanently – gossips have negative impact on shares quotation and common investor’s optimism as well. He’s a famous ice hockey and skiing lover, he is fond of the Alps. It’s been him who discovered French resort Courchevel for Russian elite some time ago.


Lukoil and Vagit Alekperov have never had any conflicts with Federal power. Because of that he still avoids judicial problems and American company Conoco Philips did find its place in Lukoil stock. An attempt to export this state/non-state capital partnership to America failed: Lukoil is still considered to be “an undesirable company” in Iraq.


He shares the ownership of Uralsib financial corporation with Vagit Alekperov. Considering equal parts in company stock Nikolai Tsvetkov personally controls the financial monster that still remains rather ineffective. Lion’s share of this 44-year old businessman’s fortune is fed through Lukoil share holding – that company’s privatization Nikolai Tsvetkov has been carrying out in the nineties.


German Khan is one of the Alpha Group’s principal share holders. Together with Mikhail Fridman and Aleksey Kuzmitchev he has studied at Moscow Institute of steel and alloys. Today German Khan holds the post of chief executive for TNK-BR everyday working hand by hand with English managers. However only five years ago German Khan was at war with British Petroleum trying to get control over Sidanko’s assets.


Every big Russian financial-industrial group has its own “public figure” – usually it is principal shareholder who communicates with the State and the press. But the same group has its absolute “non-public figure” who never gives any interview – at Alpha-Eko group this role plays Aleksey Kuzmitchev. He’s responsible for business of Alpha-Eko group that is Russia’s largest raider considering the number of its operations and operation’s sums as well.


By new 2005 and Christmas the management team led by Viktor Rashnikov became the only owner of Magnitogorsk metallurgical industry complex. Viktor Rashnikov has pursued this goal since 1997 when he kept the post of the Director General. All these years he repulsed the attacks of outside investors like Mr. Iskander Mahmudov #19). The placing of MMK shares at broker’s board – which is soon to come – will turn Viktor Rashnikov into billionaire de facto instead of being at the de jure state as now.


Former intimate friend of President’s advisor Mr. Sergey Yastrzhemsky, he played in metallurgical industry’s second league. He’s got under his control ordinary companies like Oskolsky electro-metallurgical industry complex and Ural'skaya stal' – not giants of MMK or NLMK-mode. In 2004 he bought Boris Ivanishvili’s assets and became one of the market’s leaders. Together with two partners (Lev Kvetnoi is one of them,# 51) Alisher Usmanov controls the most significant iron-ore deposits in Russia.


It is one of the most mysterious figures of Russian business. He established the Russian Credit bank but during the financial default of August 1998 this bank together with Menatep and Agro banks has gone bankrupt. But Boris Ivanishvili and his partner Mr. Vitaliy Malkin #62) saved much more than just a bank – they kept metallurgical companies that lay into the base for Metalloinvest Holding. In 2004 Boris Ivanishvili sold the most part of his assets. Today he aimes at financial business the core of which is supposed to be the Impaks bank.


Three biggest shareholders of Lukoil – Vagit Alekperov, Nikolai Tsvetkov and Leonid Fedun – were parity owners of the Nikoil financial corporation as well. Later Leonid Fedun quit Nikoil’s stock and began to develop his own financial holding IFD Capital established at the Lukoil investment group’s base. Last summer the group of investors led by Leonid Fedun bought the Spartak football club.


During the “storming 90s” he’s been very active at the property’s repartition field using standard for that period method – the seizure of an enterprise. New times did bring new morals. Iskander Mahmudov maintains a proper dialog with former UTMK’s shareholder Mr. Igor Altushkin who at the moment controls principal rival of UMTK – the Russian copper company. Besides, the interests of Iskander Mahmudov cover not just copper industry but coal industry and railway freightage as well.


He is one of the MDM Group’s owners. He came into business later than the most “dollar billionaires” from “F.” rating. But in a few years the industrial empire has grown up. The financial center of the empire did lay in MDM-bank; today this empire is the leader in chemical fertilizers market (MHK Evrohim) in coal (Siberian coal-energetic company) and pipeline industries (Tube metallurgical company) as well.


Being in a “youth tandem” with Andrey Melnitchenko, Sergey Popov is responsible for the development of industrial assets. Industrial expansion of MDM group has been quite successful because all three established holdings kept leading positions in their areas. For a long time Sergey Popov has been viewed as “an unequal partner” because he hadn’t had his share in MDM Financial Group. However two years have already passed by since the business labeled as “MDM-ish” had been divided equally between him and Andrey Melnitchenko.


He redeemed shareholding from Oleg Boiko and became principal shareholder of Evrazholding. The company has been late to the best parts of the Russian metallurgy’s cake but didn’t fail to get its ownership of the plants that suffered financial losses. In a few years Evrazholding was considered to be the very attractive asset, and Alexandr Abramov’s fortune is estimated at almost $2 billions.


His job is to be Roman Abramovich’s “shadow”. One can see him behind either left or right shoulder of the Governor of Chukotka. But more correct definition of Evgeniy Shvidler would be as a ”right hand” of Roman Abramovich. It is Evgeniy Shvidler who negotiated on Sibneft and Yukos merging and after that it was him who did his best to prevent Yukos management’s attempts to put Sibneft under its control. Evgeniy Shvidler has the Russian passport and the American social insurance card.


He is Roman Abramovich’s own senator. At the Federation Council he represents… No, not Chukotka but Omskaya oblast. Its territory homes the principal asset of Sibneft – Omsk oil-refining plant. Valeriy Oif and Evgeniy Shvidler started with Roman Abramovich in the years of the “cooperation movement”.


He works for Roman Abramovich, he’s the managing director of Millhouse Capital that controls all nonspecialized assets for Sibneft shareholders – from Prodo to Chelsea Village. While working with Roman Abramovich David Davidovich has been charged with various missions. For example David Davidovich was in charge to carry on negotiations for the most expensive Roman Abramovich’s purchase – the Chelsea football club.


His job was to be The Godfather. The Godfather for Roman Abramovich. After moving to London he tried to revive his Russian activity but each time his operations like “FSB explodes the houses”, “Ivan Rybkin for the President of Russia” flopped. He plans to move to Kiev but one may predict the reaction of the just elected Ukraine President Viktor Yushenko.


Last year the Mechel steel group controlled by Igor’ Zyuzin became all-transparent company that revealed its shareholders’ structure upon entering the New York stock exchange. IPO did bring $335 millions that allowed the company to beat other metallurgists who played at auction for privatization of blocking share holding of Yakutugol’. The price of Mechel exceeds $2 billions.


Vladimir Iorih and Igor’ Zyuzin used rather unusual methods to create a metallurgical holding. Short history of the Russian metallurgical industry indicates that a steel mill usually buys up raw material resources. Instead the Mechel steel group turned the coal company South Kusbass into its base. Later on South Kusbass bought Chelyabinsk metallurgical plant and other assets.


Observers and experts see the Vice-Governor of Yamalo-Nenetskiy AO as one of the co-owners of the Novatek company. The company representatives always denied that consideration and Iosif Levinzon prefers not to comment this delicate topic at all. He’s just a member of the committee of directors of Novatek one quarter of which was bought by the French Total company in 2004.


Starting his career as a hired manager for an oil company (Slavneft) Mikhail Gutseriev turned into the owner of another one. During the first period of its history Russneft that is under his control has been developing rapidly while buying small and average extractive companies. Today its expansion to oil markets slowed down.


After Viktor Rashnikov became the Director general of the Magnitogorsk metallurgical industrial complex Vyacheslav Yegorov was elected a chairman of the committee of directors. Since he was reelected on regular basis. An unofficial sources indicate that each MMK’s top-manager has owns his/her personal shareholding but the largest shares of the company belong to Viktor Rashnikov, Andrey Morozov and Vyacheslav Yegorov.


Andrey Morozov and the future General Director of Magnitka Viktor Rashnikov met each other at the Magnitogorskiy mining and smelting institute where they visited the same faculty – metal forming. Today he is the first assistant for Viktor Rashnikov and some observers consider him to be one of the beneficiaries for the “manager” shareholding of the MMK.


After his daughter’s murder in 2001 Vasiliy Anisimov sold his aluminium assets and moved abroad. However last year the businessman returned to active business life. By parity basis with Alisher Usmanov Vasiliy Anisimov bought iron-ore plants from Boris Ivanishvily. Besides he bought of his new partner a half of Ural Steel.


He is the owner of the Nortgaz company. Gazprom has a claim for a half of that company, but during the additional emission of Nortgaz shares the value of Gazprom’s part couldn’t be described in details. Farhad Ahmedov’s offer to Gazprom is as follow: to purchase that half for cash. But the gas monopolist prefers hopeless court actions. If Farhad Ahmedov loses the case he quits “the billionaires club”.


Leonid Mihel’son is the only co-owner of Novatek who revealed his share in the company. Unlike other shareholders who did withdraw from operative management and are lobbying for Novatek at the federal and regional levels he kept his post of the managing chairman.


Together with Leonid Mikhel’son he established the Samara people enterprise Nova and the Novafinvest company. Both formed the fundament for the Novatek company. By the middle of the 90ies he’s got the post of vice-president of Yukos – that was the main reason the market considered Novatek to be established with the assets of the oil company’s shareholders. Has been elected to Duma through the United Russia’s Party list.


At the end of the 90ies the owner of Sinarskiy tube plant Dmitriy Pumpyanskiy entered into alliance with Anatoliy Sedykh, the head of the United metallurgical company. Later on he quit OMK and came to an agreement with the MDM group. Today the Tube metallurgical company (two thirds of its shares belong to Dmitriy Pumpyanskiy) is to be among the largest tube manufacturers all over the world.


Last year Oleg Boiko sold his own Evrazholding shareholding. Today the businessman pays more attention to the gambling industry. Turnover of his Ritzio Entertainment Group (that owns the net of gambling halls and casinos) increases tens percents per year.


During 2003 Duma elections Aleksandr Lebedev was included into the political block “Rodina” list. More amazing situation is hard to imagine: the leader – “the face of the party” – was Mr. Sergey Glazyev who called for “natural rent” and nationalization! Aleksandr Lebedev realized his mistake and readdressed his political activity to the United Russia fraction.


At the first stage of preparing the “F.” rating it is necessary to define the persons to be included into the list. The sampling is conducted by the analysis of companies’ market positions, monitoring of mass media, special ratings and data bases. The second stage involves the estimation of the candidates’ fortunes. Capital value consists of enterprises’ cost considering the companies where the candidate owns his/her share (capitalization of companies that trade their shares through broker’s boards has been calculated according to January the 20th, 2005) and of other incomes (selling of the business, dividends, salary etc) obtained by a candidate during his/her activity period.

The third stage is related to the analysis for the billionaires who own various assets. The aim is to exclude monetary funds (incomes) spent for purchasing some new assets which value was taken into account during the second stage – to exclude it from capital value.

This method allows to define person’s fortune with maximum accuracy in contrast to a standard method that estimates shares cost only. During the rating compile we used the Central bank and Federal Financial Market Authority data base, analytic reports of leading investment companies and banks, special data base, anonymous experts’ and observers’ reports. First priority for the analysis is openly announced estimations. In some cases when the precise person’s share in property is considered to be unknown the “F.” tried to estimate this share by indirect parameters. When company’s management is carried out through shares’ cross-ownership and exchequer bonds (for example, Surgutneftegaz, Bashkirskiy Capital) capital issues were considered to be managements’ property that in a case of emergency could be easily converted into managements’ real property. If it is unknown for sure (estimation by indirect parameters including) the way shares are distributed among management then capital issues are considered to be in the head of the company ownership.

Evaluating the family business the “F.” kept to follows. If the distribution of the assessed capital is supposed to be unknown the cost of joint stock established by two brothers was divided between them in equal parts and the cost of the business carried out by a father and a son was considered to be owned by a father only. The precise fortunes of the billionaires are estimated by the “F.” experts and it means that calculation could be used as unofficial one.

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