Roman Abramovich

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Roman Abramovich born 24 October, 1966¬†is a Russian-Israeli billionaire businessman, investor and politician. Abramovich is the primary owner of the private¬†investment company¬†Millhouse LLC, and is best known outside Russia as the owner of¬†Chelsea Football Club, a¬†Premier League football club. He was formerly governor of Chukotka from 2000 to 2008.According to¬†Forbes, as of August 2020, Abramovich’s net worth was¬†estimated at US$12.7¬†billion making him the 113th-richest person in the world. ¬†He has donated more money than any other living Russian, with donations between the years 1999 and 2013 of more than¬†US$2.5¬†billion to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure in¬†Chukotka.

Abramovich’s was born on the 24th of October 1966 at Saratov, Russia in a lower middle-class family to father Arkady Abramovich who was a state office manager and his mother is Irina Michalenko.¬† He lost his parents soon after he was born. Thus, he was orphaned at the age of 2, so his uncle took him with him to Ukhta. Roman saw difficult times since a very early age and understood the value of money, which helped him to learn to save it and while a student, he started his very first venture in the form of a plastic toy making company.

Roman got drafted in by the Russian army while he was attending the industrial institute in Ukhta. He got bored of it and realized that it wasn’t his calling and as he returned back from the army to pursue his business career.  Abramovich first worked as a street-trader, and then as a mechanic, he started attending Moscow State Auto Transport Institute.  His impeccable business sense allowed him to earn some good amount of profit from his early few ventures and Roman went on working further with his goal of making money.

Roman Abramovich attended the Gubkin Institute of Oil and Gas in Moscow (where he sold retreaded car tyres as a sideline), then traded commodities for Runicom, a Swiss trading company.

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Roman Abramovich

In 1988, as perestroika opened up opportunities for privatization in the Soviet Union, Abramovich got a chance to legitimise his old business.  He and Olga set up a company making dolls. Within a few years his wealth spread from oil conglomerates to pig farms. He also started investing in other businesses.  Abramovich set up and liquidated at least 20 companies during the early 1990s, in sectors as diverse as tyre retreading and bodyguard recruitment. From 1992 to 1995, Abramovich founded five companies that conducted resale, produced consumer goods, and acted as intermediaries, eventually specializing in the trading of oil and oil products.

However, in 1992 he was arrested and sent to prison in a case of theft of government property: AVEKS-Komi sent a train containing 55 cisterns of diesel fuel, worth 3.8 million roubles, from the Ukhta Oil Refinery; Abramovich met the train in Moscow and resent the shipment to the Kaliningrad military base under a fake agreement, but the fuel arrived in Riga. Abramovich co-operated with the investigation, and the case was closed after the oil production factory was compensated by the diesel’s buyer, the Latvian-US company, Chikora International.

In 1995, Roman Abramovich and¬†Boris Berezovsky, an associate of President¬†Boris Yeltsin, acquired the controlling interest in the large oil company¬†Sibneft. The deal was within the controversial¬†loans-for-shares program¬†and each partner paid US$100¬†million for half of the company, above the stake’s stock market value of US$150¬†million at the time, and rapidly turned it up into billions. The fast-rising value of the company led many observers, in hindsight, to suggest that the real cost of the company should have been in the billions of dollars.

After achieving mega success with Sibneft, Roman Abramovich started eyeing the Russian Aluminium industry which was known to be a highly lucrative sector back in those times.¬† At the time, the notorious aluminium war was ongoing and several murders were taking place for the acquisition of the industry.¬† He went on to acquire holding in aluminum companies, and when Roman took it over and applied his business acumen, the crime stopped and he emerged out as the sole winner in the Russian ‚ÄėAluminium War‚Äô becoming one of the biggest aluminum producers. Abramovich had become quite well-connected to the right people including the president. He entered politics in 1999 and was elected as governor of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, a very impoverished region. He made huge developments in the area by building educational institutes, hotels and renovating the airport and the existing schools. It is said that he put 1.3 billion dollars of his own money for the progress of Chukotka.

The Russian magazine Expert named him ‚ÄėPerson of the Year‚Äô and he was given the ‚ÄėOrder of Honor‚Äô. Abramovich faced many allegations of fraud, blackmail and bribery. ‚ÄėThe Times‚Äô magazine reports that he admitted to paying billions of dollars to achieve political favors in order to attain big shares in Russia‚Äôs aluminum and oil assets. His business partner Boris Berezovsky claimed that Abramovich has threatened him to sell his shares at a lower price than what they were worth. Boris won the civil case and got more than 3 billion dollars as damages from Abramovich. Another company Yugraneft received over billion dollars for a lawsuit they won against him.

Chelsea founder Roman Abramovich

In June 2003, Roman bought most of the companies that owned the Chelsea football club, which at that time was known as one of the weakest football teams. Under his reign, the club has performed well enough and Roman supports the team in almost its every match.

In the year 2015, Roman invested in an Israeli start up music app Music Messenger and gave them USD 30 million, partnering up with the musicians such as Nicki Minaj and David Guetta.

After losing many billion dollars in lawsuits and other losses, his wealth has declined. He spends luxuriously on yachts and is the owner of five deluxe yachts known as ‚ÄėAbramovich‚Äôs Army‚Äô. He also owns his private aircraft, Boeing 767-33A/ER called the ‚ÄėBandit‚Äô. He also has two bullet and bomb proof Maybach limousines that reportedly cost one million dollars. He has a private army of 40 people for his own security. This makes him one of the best protected tycoons of the world.