Born in Ukraine on April 14, 1957, Viktor Felixovich Vekselberg is a Russian-Cypriot oligarch, millionaire, and businessman. He is the owner and CEO of the Russian corporation Renova Group. His estimated net worth, as of November 2021, was $9.3 billion, ranking him as the 262nd richest person in the world, according to Forbes. Vekselberg, who is in charge of initiatives to modernise the Russian economy, is close to the Kremlin.
In connection with Russia’s invasion of Crimea, the United States placed sanctions on him and 23 other Russian citizens in April 2018. As a result, up to $2 billion in assets were formally frozen. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March 2022, the United States tightened its sanctions against Vekselberg, and penalties were also imposed by the UK, EU, and Australia. As a result, his assets were seized and he was prohibited from travelling.
Viktor Vekselberg Bio/Wiki
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Viktor Vekselberg Early life and Education
In 1957, Viktor Vekselberg was born in Drohobych, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, to a Russian mother and a Ukrainian Jewish father (although some reports state that he was born in Lviv).
He received his diploma from the Moscow Institute of Transportation Engineering in 1979. After that, he was employed by state-owned pump manufacturing as an engineer and research manager.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March 2022, the United States tightened its sanctions against Vekselberg, and similar measures were taken by the UK, EU, and Australia. This resulted in the seizure of his assets and the imposition of a travel ban.
Viktor Vekselberg Personal Life and Family
He is married to Marina and they have a son and a daughter. His mother is a Christian, while his father is Jewish. He describes himself as multi-national and says he doesn’t go to church or synagogue on a regular basis.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s buddy and business partner Vekselberg is a British-American millionaire and a significant Republican Party donor Leonard Blavatnik. He cites the imposition of sanctions by President Trump’s administration as his personal grief since it prevented him from travelling to New York to see his daughter and grandchild.
Switzerland is apparently where Vekselberg resides. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March 2022, the US increased its sanctions against Vekselberg, and penalties were also imposed by the UK, EU, and Australia. As a result, his assets were seized and he was prohibited from travelling.
Viktor Vekselberg Professional Career
He founded NPO Komvek, which provided services to the Irkutsk Aluminum Plant, in 1988 following the Gorbachev administration’s relaxation of restrictions on private enterprise as part of its new Perestroika and Glasnost policy. In 1990, he co-founded Renova Group with college classmate Leonard Blavatnik.
Renova was owned 67 per cent by KomVek and the remaining 30 per cent by Blavatnik’s Access Industries. He gained financially from the 1993 Yeltsin administration’s privatisation of Russia’s aluminium sector. He collaborated in the establishment of the Siberian-Urals Aluminium Company (SUAL) in 1996 after the Ural and Irkutsk Aluminum Plants merged.
The biggest aluminium corporation in the world, United Company RUSAL, eventually incorporated SUAL. He bought a minority stake in Tyumen Oil (TNK), one of Russia’s biggest oil and gas corporations, with money from his aluminium company. He acquired a majority stake in Tyumen in 1997, was elected to the board of directors, and was made chairman of the board in 1998.
Later, he combined such assets with others under the purview of Renova Group, giving operational duties to managers. The Renova Group, Access Industries (owned by Leonard Blavatnik), and the Alfa Group (owned by Mikhail Fridman, German Khan, and Alexei Kuzmichov) announced the formation of the AAR consortium in 2003.
The AAR consortium would retain the oil assets of the four parties jointly in Russia and Ukraine. The largest private deal in Russian history, TNK-BP was formed when they combined AAR with British Petroleum’s Russian oil interests. In his capacity as TNK’s chairman of the executive board, Vekselberg had a key role in negotiating and finalising the deal.
In connection with potential violations of securities legislation, the Swiss Federal Finance Department opened a criminal inquiry against Vekselberg in April 2009. Following the inquiry, Swiss authorities fined Vekselberg $38 million. In 2008, Vekselberg mediated a transaction between the governments of Russia and Hungary by procuring the old embassy building from Hungary for $21 million and selling it to the Russian government the same day for $116 million, while the property’s market value was assessed to be $50 million.
The Rospil project and Alexey Navalny’s examination of the paper trail revealed various erroneous and out-of-date papers, which raises the possibility of collaboration (e.g. the tender held by the Hungarian side was totally fictive, as the building was already sold by that time).
Tátrai Miklós, Marta Horvathne Fekszi, and Arpad Szekely, the three Hungarians in charge of the transaction, were imprisoned in February 2011. A criminal probe was only launched in Russia in August 2013. In order to establish a centre for technological research in Russia, the non-profit Skolkovo Foundation, which is backed by a combination of private investors and the Russian government, selected Vekselberg as its president in 2010.
Vekselberg agreed to commit $1 billion over 10 years from Cisco Systems to initiatives supported by the Skolkovo Foundation while serving as its president. Later, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that the Russian government was using the Skolkovo Foundation to get top-secret American technologies.
Vekselberg said in May 2010 that he would be moving from Zurich to the canton of Zug, a part of Switzerland that continues to uphold the lump sum tax policy that Zurich had repealed. Due to his interests there, he was given citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus in March 2017.
However, a representative for Vekselberg emphasised that he only possessed Russian citizenship. Designation in accordance with American sanctions policies The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was enacted by President Donald Trump in 2017, lists many Russian “oligarchs,” including Vekselberg.
Vekselberg was questioned by members of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigations team in March 2018 at an airport in the New York region. Through designation in accordance with Executive Order 13662, the US Department of the Treasury levied sanctions on Vekselberg and Renova Group in April 2018.
(“Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine”). Due to funds frozen by the United States belonging to the subject, who invested in Benny Gantz’s tech company, The Fifth Dimension, and who was involved in the Mueller investigation into Stormy Daniel’s payoff by former Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen, who had formed close ties with the subject, a cybersecurity startup company affiliated with Gantz was forced to close.
Vekselberg claimed in February 2021 that more than $1.5 billion of his assets were frozen in American and Swiss bank accounts and that he was prohibited from donating “modest sums” to charitable organisations.
Seizing of Yacht
President Joseph R. Biden of the United States issued Executive Order 14068, “Prohibiting Certain Imports, Exports, and New Investment With Regard to Continued Russian Federation Aggression,” which imposed economic sanctions in accordance with the United States International Emergency Economic Powers Act in the wake of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The order targeted the Motoryacht Tango and an Airbus A319-115 aircraft, both of which are valued at around $180 million. The boat was taken into custody by the Spanish Civil Guard and American federal officials in Mallorca in April 2022. According to a news statement from the Department of Justice of the United States, Task Force KleptoCapture, an interagency task force run via the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, requested that the Tango be taken.
The case is still continuing in the District of Columbia’s US District Court. According to the affidavit for the seizure warrant, the yacht has been seized due to probable cause to suspect violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 18 U.S.C. 1956, and 18 U.S.C. 1349 (conspiracy to commit bank fraud), as well as American laws on civil and criminal asset forfeiture.
According to a news statement from the Department of Justice of the United States, Task Force KleptoCapture, an interagency task force run via the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, requested that the Tango be taken. The case is still continuing in the District of Columbia’s US District Court.
According to the affidavit for the seizure warrant, the yacht has been seized due to probable cause to suspect violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 18 U.S.C. 1956, and 18 U.S.C. 1349 (conspiracy to commit bank fraud), as well as American laws on civil and criminal asset forfeiture.
Viktor Vekselberg Net Worth
His net worth as of 2023 is $7.14 Billion. According to Swiss Stock Exchange disclosure documents and the Spark-Interfax database, Vekselberg controls the majority of his wealth through the holding company Renova Group, based in Nassau, Bahamas, and the Russian company Renova.
These entities have control over a number of publicly traded and closely held companies. In March 2013, he transferred 12.5% of the Russian oil joint venture TNK-BP to Rosneft, the country’s state-owned oil firm, for $7 billion. Dividends, as well as the sale and acquisition of assets, are reflected in cash investments.
They are based on market performance and taxes and are computed in US dollars. According to his spokesman, Vekselberg controls 13% of publicly traded United Co. Rusal, Russia’s largest aluminium producer, through Saul Partners. According to the websites of three publicly listed Swiss producers of machinery, industrial equipment, and steel, he has shares in 48.8% of Sulzer, 18.4% of Oerlikon, and 11.18% of Swiss Steel.
Additionally, he owns more than a dozen privately owned businesses, the value information for each of which is disclosed to Bloomberg clients in the asset note. These include the Russian utility T Plus, which unifies his investments in four utility companies, seven regional airports in Russia, the chemical company Renova Orgsintez, the Italian renewable energy company Avelar Energy Group, the telematics services provider Octo Telematics, and a 49 per cent stake in the construction firm Kortros.
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