Billionaire Alisher Usmanov, an investor in businesses from Facebook Inc. to Arsenal soccer club, was re-elected president of the International Fencing Federation before its 100th anniversary next year.
Usmanov, who has headed the organization since 2008, was elected for a second term during a meeting at Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel today.
With a fortune estimated at $17.4 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Usmanov has plowed millions of dollars into fencing through a dedicated charity fund. The entrepreneur, who made more than $1 billion investing in Facebook and founded Russian mining company Metalloinvest, has long had a passion for the combative sport, having participated since the age of 13.
The federation almost doubled its budget during Usmanov’s first term to as much as 24.5 million Swiss francs ($26.2 million), it said today in a statement. It’s seeking to increase the number of Olympic fencing medal events at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games to 12 from 10, according to the statement.
Usmanov also supports the Russian Volleyball Federation, the country’s Kontinental Hockey League and the Association of Winter Olympic Sports. He controls about 30 percent of Arsenal with partner Farhad Moshiri.