Roman Abramovich

No. 135 in the world - Richest RussianRoman Abramovich on Richest RussianRoman Abramovich (Рома́н Абрамо́вич) is an international businessman, entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, sportsman and arts supporter. He is estimated to be worth $14.2 billion according to a 2014 Bloomberg article. He is ranked on the Forbes 2012 list as the 50th wealthiest individual in the world, and 5th wealthiest in Russia. He is the owner of Millhouse, LLC, a private investment company, as well as part owner or significant shareholder in a multitude of international corporations, primarily in steel and mining, and private investment. Abramovich is also well known for his sports team—Chelsea Football Club, a soccer team in the UK that he purchased in 2003.

Early Years
Roman Abramovich was born in Saratov, in the former Soviet Union (FSU) on 24 October, 1966. He was orphaned at the age of three and raised by his uncle in Ukhta, in the Komi republic until the age of eight. He then went to live with his grandmother in Moscow.

Abramovich attended Moscow trade institutes, and while a student undertook his first entrepreneurial initiative in 1987—selling small toys from his home. The profits from this venture enabled Abramovich to begin a series of successful investments, beginning with an oil company in the Omsk region. He quickly became successful and known among colleagues in the industry, joining the board of Sibneft Oil Company, which is involved in the exploration, refining, production and marketing of petroleum products. Abramovich subsequently assumed leadership of the company and through a successful merger, turned it into the 4th largest oil company in the world.

Oil, Steel and Investments
Abramovich’s path to international business success progressed from small home-based initiatives to mega-corporations. Beginning with Comfort Co-op, the plastic toy company, he went on to develop business initiatives in retread tires, automobile parts, doll-making, personal protection, and then oil and oil products—development and trading.

In the early 1990s, Abramovich was involved in a series of oil export deals, providing him with the early foundation for his future financial successes. Between 1992 and 1995, he created five companies, spanning various fields, ultimately owning or being heavily invested in 10 or more companies involved in oil, oil products and trading, including: Mekong and Centurion, both joint-stock companies, and Vector, a limited liability company, His holdings include Evraz, a massive steel company, Highland Gold Mining and Norilsk Nickel.

Green Technology
Abramovich’s is a significant funder of green technologies such as Velocys PLC, which is working to develop jet fuel from waste in landfills. 

By the age of 30, Abramovich was already a multi-millionaire and well connected to the top echelons of Russia’s political and social structure.

In 2000, Abramovich became governor of Chukotka. Drawing upon his business experience and political connections, Abramovich was successful in bringing much needed infrastructure and services to his district, including housing, schools, and jobs, often combining his own money with that from government and private sources. He stepped down in 2008.

Abramovich is Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. He is a significant contributor to Chabad, school construction, hospitals, archeological projects, and in 2010, he secured a $400M bid to redevelop St. Petersburg’s historical New Holland Island as an arts and cultural center. Abramovich is a lover and supporter of the arts, owning 40 paintings by Ilya Kabakov, a prominent and highly successful artist in Russia.