Russian Billionaire – Lev Kvetnoi
Lev Kvetnoi (Лев Кветной) is a self-made Russian oligarch with a net worth of around US$1.5 billion. He built his substantial fortune by investing in the cement industry, the banking industry, and the airport and airport services industry. Kvetnoi ranks among the top 100 richest people in Russia and is considered as the wealthiest member of the Russian parliament.
Early Years and Education
Kvetnoi was born in 1965 in the small village of Rogachevoin in the Moscow region, where he spent his youth. After leaving secondary school in the early 80s, Kvetnoi started studying in Leningrad. He graduated in 1989 from the Leningrad Institute of Physical Culture with a Bachelor of Arts/Science.
In 1990 Kvetnoi worked as the commercial director of the stock-listed company Pragma Trading. He first started working in the banking industry in 1992, when he became the Vice President of Montazhspetsbank, staying in the role for three years.
Kvetnoi and Usmanov Start Doing Business
In 1995 Kvetnoi started working for Interfin, a company headed by billionaire Alisher Usmanov. Between 1996 and 1999 he was part of the board of directors of the Oskol Elektrometallurgical Plant, and thus gained invaluable trust from Usmanov. Shortly after he ended his tenure as Director of the plant, the two Russians joined forces and Kvetnoi became a full partner in Gazmetall: a new company which was jointly owned by Kvetnoi, Usmanov and another Russian billionaire, Andrei Skoch. From the company’s launch in 2000, Kvetnoi served as its CEO, and eventually sold his stake to Usmanov and Skoch in 2006.
The Cement Industry
After selling his Gazmetall share, Kvetnoi invested part of the capital in one of the largest cement producers in Russia, Novoros Cement. Established in 1882, the company reported an annual revenue of over 14 billion rubles, and was delisted in 2008. After the company’s stock was removed from the exchange, Kvetnoi held 100% of Novoros Cement. He expanded his cement business over the years and part of this expansion included acquiring one of the cement production factories in southern Russia, previously owned by billionaire Elena Baturina.
Kvetnoi invested a percentage of the capital gained from selling out to Usmanov into purchasing National Standard Bank.
Besides owning a lucrative share of the Russian cement and banking industries, Lev Kvetnoi also holds major shares in several companies that provide airport services, like plane repair factories. He owned 30% of Vnukovo Airport in Moscow and several service companies affiliated with the airport, but resigned from his position on the board of directors of the airport in 2007. After a two year break, Kvetnoi returned to the board in 2009. He continues to have a vested interest in all three industries.