Igor Olenicoff (Игорь Олеников) is a Moscow born billionaire with a net worth of $3.2 billion as of July, 2014 according to Forbes. He earned his fortune by building the Olen Properties real estate empire. In 2014, Olen properties boasted over 7.5 million square feet of premier office space and over 10,000 residential units concentrated in California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada and Arizona.
Igor Olenicoff was born in 1942. Since his parents were tsarists they fled communist Russia and went to Iran. He was educated by English speaking missionaries in Iran. At fifteen, the family moved to America. As immigrants his father worked as a janitor even though he was a trained engineer. His mother was a maid. He received a BA in finance, math and an MBA at the University of Southern California.
Building Olen Properties
Upon graduating, Igor Olenicoff became a consultant and eventually a corporate executive in companies. In 1973, Olenicoff founded Olen Properties Corp by acquiring a 16 unit apartment complex. Olenicoff founded the company with the principle of “stability through controlled growth and consistent hands-on management.” For the past forty years the company has been headed by Olenicoff. In the last few years he wanted to pass the companies management to his only daughter. Olen properties was known to collect rents and debts aggressively from default tenants.
In 2006, Forbes estimated the value of Olen Properties to be over a billion dollars. It is based in Newport Beach, California. Olen Properties’ commercial and industrial projects are concentrated throughout California, Southern Florida and Chicago, Illinois. Its residential apartments are spread throughout Florida, California and Arizona.
During the three major collapses of the real estate markets Olen Properties had to restructure to protect many of its assets from debt. Restructuring and reinvestming in the aftermath of major recessions strengthened the positions and increased the Olen Properties’ net worth.
In 2007, Olenicoff paid a $52 million fine in back taxes to the IRS.
Igor Olenicoff is also said to have had involvement in the Sovereign Bancorp a bank in the Bahamas that was created by Boris Yelstin.
Igor Olenicoff, who is the oldest Russian born billionaire, is married with two children, Andrei and Natalia. Igor groomed his son Andrei to take over Olen Properties. However, in 2005, Andrei died in a car accident. Afterwards, he began training his daughter Natalia to run Olen Properties.
Philanthropy in Andrei’s Name
After Andrei’s tragic death, Igor Olenicoff founded the Andrei Olenicoff Memorial Foundation in Andrei’s honor. The foundation serves as the charitable arm of Olen Properties. The foundation concentrates its efforts to support blind people by researching treatments of the eye, providing guide dogs, supporting the Braille Institute and providing services and activities for the blind. Olenicoff used the organization to connect to his Russian roots by funding the Health of the Fatherland which helps underprivileged children in Russia. In 2010 the fund gave away almost $38,000 in grants.
120 Foot Luxury Yacht
Igor Olenicoff has a 120 foot luxurious yacht that he enjoys with his family and friends in leisurely and sport-based vacations.