Mr. Leonard Blavatnik, better known as Len Blavatnik in the west is a self-made billionaire and the owner of LyondellBasell Industries, the third largest chemical producing company in world. He has carved his niche as a guy who when arrived in 1978 at the age of 21, was penniless but went on to become not only one of the richest American but also one of the richest in the world. His story has its share of twists and turns, ups and downs, highs and lows, but the end result has been very satisfying for him and his family. With a net worth exceeding $11 billion, a large property portfolio and the ownership of one of the biggest music records company (Warner Music), he possibly couldn’t have asked for more.
Len counts Harvard Business School and Columbia amongst his alma maters. He founded industrial holding company Access Industries in 1986, which was a partnership between his long time friend turned billionaire Viktor Vekselberg. His business acumen has been of great help in making the perfect decisions at the most appropriate times that includes his decision to merge Tyumen Oil and British Petroleum, which went on to become Russia’s second largest oil company. In 2007, he acquired Lyondell Chemical Company, at $48 per share in cash to the latter's shareholders. Considering various parameters the the deal was worth $19 billion in total. The resulting entity is LyondellBasell Industries, which is the world's third largest chemical company based on net sales.
In 2010, Blavatnik gave what has been touted as the most generous gift to University of Oxford in its history of 900 years. He announced that he would donate £75 million over multiple years, which would be used to help establish a new School of Government. Mr. Blavatnik and his eponymous family foundation have also supported many other cultural and philanthropic institutions over the past 15 years, including serving as the primary benefactors for numerous, major art and cultural exhibitions, including the British Museum, Tate Modern, Royal Opera House, National Portrait Gallery and Museum of Modern Art.