The Filthy Rich: Roman Abramovich
The filthy rich: Forbes’ annual list of the world’s richest listed Russian billionaire Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich at the 50th position this year, with a net worth of $11.2 billion. One of the youngest and most influential of Russia’s oligarchs, Roman Abramovich, aged 44, is well known for his extravagant ways. He owns the investment company Millhouse Capital and the English Premiership football team, Chelsea Football Club. The Russian billionaire was lately in the news for his £150 million home in Lowndes Square, London, which extends three stories underground.
Early Life & Career: Abramovich was born on October 24, 1966 to a Jewish family in Lithuania. His mother, Irina Ostrowski Abramovich, died before he was 2. His father, Arkady Abramovich, was killed in a construction accident less than two years later. Roman was raised by his paternal grandparents in the harsh Arctic climate of their hometown in Lithuania. Abramovich has been married twice, to Olga Yurevna Lysova in December 1987 (divorced 1990), and to Irina Vyacheslavovna Malandina in October 1991 (divorced 2007). This Russian oligarch began his business career selling plastic ducks from a Moscow apartment, and within a few years, the wealth spread from oil conglomerates to pig farms. Between 1992 and 1995: Abramovich founded five companies that conducted resale and acted as intermediaries, eventually specializing in the trade of oil and oil products. 1995: He collaborated with Boris Berezovsky to purchase a controlling share of the oil company Sibneft for a sum of $100 million. 1999: He was elected to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Chukotka single-mandate constituency. 2000: He was elected governor of Chukotka, replacing the corrupt Alexander Nazarov. 2003: Roman Abramovich became the owner of the companies that control Chelsea Football Club in the United Kingdom. The raining $cash$: Abramovich is currently the fourth richest person in Russia and the 50th richest person in the world. He gets money from a number of sources. Abramovich got the majority of his wealth owing to the assets acquired cheaply during president Boris Yeltsin’s program of privatizing state companies in the mid ‘90s. His main sources of wealth are oil, the steel industry, gold mining business and investments. Wealth over the years: The Lavish Life No story about Abramovich is complete until and unless we talk about his spending spree and his lavish interests. He has a great interest in football, real estate, jets, yachts, cars and paintings. Let’s take a look at the lavish lifestyle and spending habits of the Russian billionaire. The properties The latest addition to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s ever-growing property portfolio is the luxurious £150 million home in Lowndes Square in London. The Russian billionaire, who is known for his extravagant ways, has bought all nine flats of a prime London block by Harvey Nichols and Harrods. Abramovich’s other luxurious possessions include a luxury flat at the new Bridges Wharf, a spectacular £18 million country estate in Fyning Hill, West Sussex, a villa in the South of France, a palaticla house in Tuscany, a hotel complex in Cyprus, a holiday home in Montenegro, a house in Moscow and the $90 million estate in St. Bart’s. Art Roman Abramovich is a true art lover. He sponsored an exhibition of photographs of Uzbekistan by renowned Soviet photographer Max Penson (1893–1959), in November 2006 in London. He was the mystery buyer who bought Francis Bacon’s Triptych (1976) for a record breaking $86.3 million at Sotheby’s New York in 2008. He also bought the Lucian Freud’s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping (1995) for $33.6 million at Christie’s same year. His girlfriend Dasha Zhukova is currently managing a gallery of modern art in Moscow. Yachts Roman Abramovich loves to spend on luxury boats and yachts, and his fleet of yachts has been nicknamed “Abramovich’s navy” by the media. The highlight of the fleet is the $350 million 170-meter Eclipse luxury yacht, which features two helipads, 20 water jets, a pool with large Havana bars surrounding it, a cinema, library, restaurant, private garden, a private submarine boarding and a missile-detection system to deflect pirate attacks safely. Other yachts owned include the world’s largest expedition yacht Luna, Pelorus, Sussurro, Le Grand Bleu and Ecstasea. He also owns two submarines – the £13m 118ft Seattle 1000 and the £3m 65ft Nomad 1000. Aircrafts Roman Abramovich flies in his private Boeing 767-33A/ER, which is also called the Bandit owing to its cockpit paint detail. It also has an anti-missile system. He is also the proud owner of an A340-313X built by Airbus. Abramovich also owns three Eurocopter helicopters. Cars In 2004, Abramovich purchased two Maybach 62 limousines, which were customized to be bomb- and bulletproof. They reportedly cost him £1 million. He also owns the $2.2 million Ferrari FXX racing car, one of the only 30 built. Some of his other possessions include a Porsche Carrera GT, Bugatti Veryron, Maerati MC12 Corsa, a Ferrari 360 and the armored Mercedes. Personal Security Abramovich maintains a security force fit for a royal. His 40-man private army of security personnel makes him one of the best protected businessmen in the world. He rides in bulletproof cars and flies in the Boeing 767-33A/ER, which has an anti-missile system. His new yacht Eclipse comes fitted with intruder-detection systems and a German-built missile defense system. The master suite and the bridge are also fitted with bulletproof glass and both are armor plated. Spending Spree • Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich is now building himself an exclusive new $30 million private nightclub underneath his football club’s stadium in London. • He is going to spend £250 million on the St Petersburg art museum project. • Roman Abramovich is reportedly flying in the Black Eyed Peas to perform at his New Year’s Eve party in St Bart’s, and he will be spending millions. • Roman Abramovich threw a lavish £5 million New Year’s Eve party last year. He was said to spend £1.8 million on drinks and £1.2 million on performers. • In 2008, Abramovich spent a cool £200,000 on his daughter’s 16th birthday. • In 2009, Abramovich was rumored to have spent a staggering $52,000 on lunch at Nello’s in New York. Achievements & Awards In 2003, Abramovich became the owner of the companies that control Chelsea Football Club in the United Kingdom. In 2003 only, Abramovich was named Person of the Year by Expert, a Russian business magazine. During the political career, Abramovich was awarded the “Order of Honour” by a decree signed by the President of Russia. Abramovich was the governor of Chukotka from 2000 to 2008. Reportedly, he spent over US $1.3 billion of his own money for the region’s welfare. Famous Sayings by Roman Abramovich
I have no Napoleonic dream. I’m just hard-working and pragmatic. I’m realizing my dream of owning a top football club. Some will doubt my motives, others will think I’m crazy. The goal is to win. It’s not about making money. I have many much less risky ways of making money than this (buying Chelsea football club). I don’t want to throw my money away, but it’s really about having fun and that means success and trophies. Investors have very short memories.