The ex-governor of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, and now No. 10 in the list of the richest citizens of Russia according to Forbes (and No. 9 in a similar rating of British citizens) - it's all about Roman Abramovich. As of 2019, his fortune is estimated at $ 12.4 billion. But he once started with the production of plastic toys.
Biography and personal life
Roman Abramovich was born on October 24, 1966 in Saratov. His father Arkady worked at the Economic Council (the state body of the territorial administration of the national economy) of the Komi ASSR. Roman lost his father at the age of four when he died in an accident at a construction site. He lost his mother even earlier. Irina died when Roma was just one year old.
It is known that the family had a difficult history even before these tragic events. The grandfather and grandmother of the future businessman (Nakhim Leibovich and Toybe Stepanovna) lived in Belarus before the First World War, then in Lithuania. The June 1941 deportations resulted in the family being deported to Siberia. But together the spouses did not reach the place of exile: they were divided into different cars, after which they lost sight of each other. Toybe raised three sons alone.
After the death of his parents, Roman was taken up by the family of his uncle Leib Abramovich. Roma grew up in Ukhta, and then in Moscow, where he moved in 1974 to his other uncle Abram Abramovich.
In 1983, after graduating from high school No. 232, Roman Abramovich returned from Moscow to Ukhta, where he entered an industrial institute. Studying at the forestry faculty did not fascinate him too much, but he managed to show organizational skills. There is no official information about the graduation from this university.
In 1984, Roman Abramovich was drafted into military service. He spent two years in a platoon of an artillery regiment in the Vladimir region.
For the first time, Roman Arkadyevich married Olga Lysova, a native of Astrakhan, but the marriage did not last long. The second wife Irina Malandina, who once worked as a flight attendant, gave him five children: Anna, Arcadia, Sophia, Arina and Ilya. In March 2007, Roman Abramovich divorced her. The third wife was the designer Daria Zhukova. She gave birth to a businessman in 2009, a son, Aaron, Alexander, and in 2013, a daughter, Leia. In the summer of 2017, it became known about the breakdown of relations between Daria and Roman.
The first place of work of Roman Abramovich was SU-122, which belonged to the Mosspetsmontazh trust. There he worked as a mechanic from 1987 to 1989.
Around the same time, the man realized that the future belongs to business, and, feeling an entrepreneurial streak in himself, he acquired the Uyut cooperative. Officially, the company was engaged in the production of toys from polymers. Valery Oyf and Yevgeny Shvidler, who later will manage Sibneft, became Roman Abramovich's partners.
In the early 90s, Roman Arkadievich opened a large number of companies: from joint stock companies to individual private enterprises. Earns money in the so-called small business. First in production, and then in trade and intermediary operations. At a certain period of his life, he makes friends with a close-minded Boris Berezovsky, as well as with the closest circle of the head of state, Russian President Boris Yeltsin. It is believed that these very connections were from the category of "useful" and helped Abramovich to become the owner of the oil company "Sibneft".
In 1995, 28-year-old businessman Roman Abramovich and his friend Boris Berezovsky begin a large-scale project. They are going to create a single vertically integrated oil company, which will be based on the Omsk Oil Refinery and Noyabrskneftegaz (both enterprises were then part of Rosneft). Already in the summer of 1996, Abramovich became one of the members of the board of directors of the joint-stock company Noyabrskneftegaz, as well as the head of the Moscow branch of Sibneft (by September of the same year he became a member of the board of directors of the enterprise).
The General Prosecutor's Office, using the method of computer analysis, concluded that one of the reasons for the default in 1998 in Russia was speculation in the market for government short-term bonds. And Roman Abramovich was involved in these speculations. The former prosecutor general of the country Yuri Skuratov writes about this in his book "Kremlin contracts: The last case of the prosecutor".
The media first started talking about Roman Abramovich and his activities only in November 1998. Former head of the Russian president's security service, Alexander Korzhakov, said that the businessman is the "treasurer" of Yeltsin's entourage. The Russians also learned that Abramovich pays for all the whims of Yeltsin's daughter Tatyana Dyachenko and her fiancé Valentin Yumashev. The media also wrote that Abramovich financed Yeltsin's election campaign in 1996 (the famous tour of all Russian pop stars under the slogans "Yeltsin is our president" and "Vote or lose").
1999 ended very well for Roman Abramovich. His fortune was $ 1.4 billion. By the way, in the same 1999, a businessman tries himself in politics. He is elected as a State Duma deputy in one of the Chukotka single-mandate constituencies. He never became a member of any of the factions, but since February 2000 he has been a member of the committee on the problems of the North and the Far East.
In December 2000, he was elected governor of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. The media then wrote that Abramovich sought to improve the living standards of the local population and to develop the region by all means. For this, he invested his own funds.
In the summer of 2003, Roman Abramovich became the owner of the English football club Chelsea, which was then on the verge of ruin. Many media outlets wrote that the rich man is developing foreign sports with Russian money. However, information slipped through that before that Abramovich was going to acquire CSKA, but the deal fell through.
Since the summer and autumn of 2003, Sibneft has been constantly checked by the Tax Inspectorate and the Prosecutor General's Office. Another attempt to merge the company with Yukos fails. Soon Abramovich decides to sell first stakes in Aeroflot, IrkutskEnergo, RusPromAvto, Russian Aluminum, Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric power station, and then Sibneft. During this period of his life, he actually lives in the UK, but still holds the post of governor of Chukotka.
On October 16, 2005, Abramovich was presented for re-appointment as head of the regional administration by President Vladimir Putin. On October 21, the Chukotka Duma approved the businessman in his position. He will serve as governor until July 3, 2008, when Dmitry Medvedev, who had become president by that time, terminates his powers. Later, Abramovich will still make his contribution to the policy of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, holding the post of chairman of the local Duma.
In the spring of 2018, the UK tightened investor visa requirements. Abramovich became a citizen in Israel. Having a passport from this country opened up the possibility of a visa-free visit to the UK.
Now Roman Abramovich is 52 years old. He rarely gives interviews, and the media interest in him has practically died out. How much he earns now is almost impossible to calculate. It is known for sure that he actively invests in businessmen whom he considers promising.
Until recently, he could often be seen at events dedicated to contemporary art. He actively, according to the print and Internet press, supports Russian football. Engaged in charity work. For example, in 2006, he donated 26 hectares of land in the Moscow region worth about $ 52 million so that the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management was built on this site.
Roman Abramovich owns a villa in West Sussex (worth £ 28 million), a penthouse in Kensington (£ 29 million), a house in France (£ 15 million), a five-story mansion in Belgravia (£ 11 million), a cottage in Knightsbridge (£ 18 million), houses in Saint-Tropez (£ 40 million), dachas in the Moscow region (£ 8 million). The businessman has a particular weakness for beautiful and large vehicles. He owns the yacht Ecstasea, which has its own pool and Turkish bath (valued at £ 77m). His yacht Le Grand Bleu (£ 60m) has its own helipad. Yacht Eclipse holds the record for a value of 340 million euros. It is a 170-meter vessel with a bullet-proof steel hull and armored windows. It is capable of announcing a missile attack thanks to the German warning system. The yacht has hangars and two helicopters.