Filaret Galchev (Филарет Галчев) is one of Russia’s business success stories. Ranking #369 on the Forbes List of Billionaires 2015, this self-made tycoon is fast ‘cementing’ his reputation as a shrewd and intelligent investor, with a net worth of $3.6 billion.
Born in 1963 in Tbilisi, in the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, Galchev is the youngest of six children born into an ethnic Greek family. He has a rich background in academia: a graduate of the Moscow Regional Mining Institute as well as a Doctor of Economics and a Professor, he is also a member of the elite Mining Academy, a published academic writer and author of two books, and a member of the International Energy Academy.
From Academic to Coal Mining Magnate
Filaret Galchev is a well-respected academic and an authority on the subject of coal mining and marketing in Russia. Instead of staying in academia though, Galchev devoted over 10 years to working in the coal industry in Russia, gaining invaluable experience in different positions, all while continuing his research, publishing academic papers and teaching. He has worked for some of the giants in the coal industry, including Russian Coal and the International Trading House of Mining Industry. He is considered to be the driving force in establishing Rosuglebyt, the biggest coal trading company in the country.
Cementing his Wealth
Galchev started to diversify his investments with the purchase of several Stern Cement manufacturing sites. He bought out his partner Georgy Kransyansky and continued to purchase cement plants from Intenko, owned by Elena Baturina — considered by many to be the richest woman in Russia.
Heavy investment has yielded stunning results for Galchev. He founded Eurocement Group in 2002 and since 2004, he has served as the Chairman of the Board and currently owns 11% of Switzerland-based cement company Holcim. Eurocement Group is the largest producer of cement in Russia, and has recently announced a further investment of $860 million’s worth of machinery from a manufacturer in China. Holcim’s recent announcement of its intent to merge with French cement company Lafarge, is estimated to raise Galchev’s net worth to about $5 billion.
Personal Life, Awards and Property Investments
Married with two children, Filaret Galchev lives in Moscow, but has significant investments in property in Greece, and regularly makes the lists of celebrity property owners. He is the owner of the super yacht ‘Sapphire’, and spends vacations in Greece and Europe.
In spite of his massive net wealth, Galchev considers himself to be an academic at heart. He has written nearly 2 dozen scientific papers and is author of ‘Coal Marketing in Russia’ and ‘Acute Issues of Mining Economy’ — both considered essential reading for students in this field. He continues to teach at his alma mater and is involved in ongoing research at the university.
Galchev was given the ‘Honorable Builder of Russia’ award, as well as the state decorations of the ‘Order of St. Blessed Prince Daniel of Moscow’ and ‘Order for Merit to the Fatherland’.