Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#70 Viktor Vekselberg $15.6B

Random fact: Finances California's Fort Ross, a former Russian trading post.

Overview

Vekselberg is chairman of Renova Group, a Bahamas-based investment company with stakes in equipment makers Sulzer and Oerlikon, as well as United Co. Rusal, Russia's biggest aluminum producer. He owns regional airports in Russia and sold 12.5 percent of a Russian oil venture for $7 billion in 2013.

As of July 27, 2017:
Last change +$107M (+0.7%)
YTD change +$1.40B (+9.8%)
Industry Industrial
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship Russian Federation
Age 60
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Viktor Vekselberg's net worth of $15.6B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

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Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
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Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Vekselberg holds the bulk of his fortune through Nassau, Bahamas-based holding company, Renova Group, and Russia-based Renova, which control a series of publicly traded and closely held entities. He sold Renova's 12.5 percent stake in Russian oil joint venture TNK-BP for $7 billion to Russia's state-owned oil company, Rosneft, in March 2013, and collected almost $5 billion in dividends from the asset through 2012.

Vekselberg controls about 6 percent of publicly traded United Co. Rusal, Russia's largest aluminum producer, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. He also owns shares in three publicly traded Swiss machinery, industrial equipment and steel manufacturers: a 63 percent stake in Sulzer, 43 percent of Oerlikon and 25.1 percent of Schmolz + Bickenbach.

He owns Russian utility company T Plus, which consolidates the stakes he holds in four heat and electric utility companies, TGK-9, TGK-5, TGK-6 and Volga Territorial Generating company (TGK-7), and a 90 percent stake in construction company Kortros and 47 percent of Energoprom Group, a carbon and graphite producer. The billionaire also has four regional Russian airports, precious metals producer Safina and a controlling stake in telecommunications company Akado.

Vekselberg controls such assets in Russia as Renova Orgsintez, which produces chemicals, Urals Turbine Works, an industrial machinery manufacture, and Hevel, which develops production of thin-film solar modules. He owns Milan, Italy-based Avelar Energy Group that's focused on renewable energy, and Octo Telematics, a telematics services provider, as well as Zoloto Kamchatki, a gold miner.

Biography

Birthdate: 4/14/1957
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: 1979, Graduated, Moscow Railway Transport Eng Institute PhD, Mathematics, Moscow Railway Transport Eng Institute Master's Degree, Mathematics, Moscow Railway Transport Eng Institute

Viktor Vekselberg was born in the Lviv region of Ukraine in 1957. He graduated with a degree in computer engineering from the Moscow Railway Transport Engineering Institute in 1979, where he met his future partner, Len Blavatnik. He earned a doctorate in mathematics from the USSR Academy of Sciences' Computing Center, and then spent about a decade working as a research associate in a state lab.

He founded Renova in 1990, and through the holding company accumulated interests in Russia's oil and gas, aluminum and financial industries. Renova became one of the leading participants in the Russian government privatization program after the fall of the Soviet Union.

In 1997, Vekselberg, Blavatnik and Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group acquired a 40 percent stake in TNK, a former state-owned oil company with interests in several West Siberian oil fields. Two years later, they acquired assets in Sidanco, which was owned in part by BP. Sidanco had been declared bankrupt by a commercial court in Siberia. BP's CEO at the time, John Browne, later called the legal system "rigged," and BP paid almost $8 billion to acquire a 50 percent interest in TNK after the ruling. The other half was consolidated by Vekselberg and his partners under the holding company Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR). The investment formed TNK-BP, Russia's third-largest oil producer, and the partnership paid $38 billion in dividends to both sides between 2004 and 2011.

TNK-BP chief executive officer Bob Dudley -- now CEO of BP -- was forced to leave Russia after a strategy dispute in 2008 and, in 2011, AAR sued BP over a separate Arctic development deal it tried to strike with state-controlled oil company Rosneft. BP executives announced in May 2012 that it would sell its stake and Fridman stepped down from his role as CEO. In October of that year, Rosneft announced it would acquire the entire company, paying the billionaires $27.7 billion for their half of the venture in March 2013.

In 2007, Vekselberg and Blavatnik acquired part of a 16 percent stake in United Co. Rusal, the world's largest aluminum producer, which took over Sual Group, their own aluminum producer. A year later, a dispute erupted over the management of a major Rusal holding, Norilsk Nickel, which is controlled by billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Vladimir Potanin. Vekselberg resigned from his position as chairman of Rusal on March 13, 2012, saying that the company was facing a "deep crisis" over the investment. The dispute was resolved in December 2012, when Potanin was named CEO of Norilsk, and billionaire Roman Abramovich agreed to purchase a 6 percent stake and take a Norilsk board seat to serve as intermediary between the warring factions.

Dmitry Medvedev, when he was president in 2010, asked Vekselberg to head technology hub Skolkovo outside Moscow, hoping to replicate Silicon Valley's success in Russia.

Milestones
  • 1957 Viktor Feliksovich Vekselberg born in Drogobych, Ukraine.
  • 1979 Graduates from Moscow Railway Transport Engineering Institute.
  • 1980 Earns mathematics doctorate before working at state research labs.
  • 1990 Creates Renova investment management company.
  • 1996 Forms holding company Sual for his aluminum interests.
  • 2003 With Russian partners sells 50 percent of TNK oil business to BP.
  • 2007 Begins buying stakes in publicly traded companies Sulzer and Oerlikon.
  • 2007 Through mergers, forms aluminum giant United Co. Rusal.
  • 2010 Named head of Skolkovo Foundation by Dmitry Medvedev.
  • 2013 State-owned Rosneft buys TNK-BP stake for $27.7 billion.