Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Top 10 Richest People in the World

This list of the 10 wealthiest people is a list of the world's 10 wealthiest people as of February 11, 2008, based on each person's total net worth. The total net worth is an estimate measured in United States dollars, based on the closing stock prices of the stock exchanges on which each person's company is listed, and exchange rates on February 11, 2008. Stock prices are defined as shares of ownership in a corporation, and exchange rates are defined as how much one currency is worth in terms of another. This list only represents each person's valuation on a single day due to daily fluctuations among exchange rates and stock valuations. The list does not include heads of state whose wealth is tied to their position (see list of heads of government and state by net worth).
  1. Warren Buffett (US)
  2. Carlos Slim (Mexico)
  3. Bill Gates (US)
  4. Lakshmi Mittal (India)
  5. Mukesh Ambani (India)
  6. Anil Ambani (India)
  7. Ingvar Kamprad (Sweden)
  8. KP Singh (India)
  9. Oleg Deripaska (Russia)
  10. Karl Albrecht (Germany)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Education and early career

Deripaska was born in Dzerzhinsk, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, but he grew up in Krasnodar krai. He graduated with honors in physics from the Moscow State University in 1993, and in 1996, he earned an economics degree from the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics. He was general manager of Sayanogorsk Smelter (1994-1997) and held the post of president of Sibirsky Aluminium Investment Industrial Group (1997-2001), which later became a core of Basic Element Investment Company.

The Guardian mentions[9]:

(…) as a student at Moscow State University, he was skint. The Soviet Union had just collapsed, the country was in turmoil and "decay"; Deripaska worked on building sites across Russia to prevent himself from starving.

"We had no money. It was a very practical question every day. How do I get money to buy food and keep studying?" he recalls. There was little future in his university subject, theoretical physics. He abandoned his studies and started business as a small-time metals trader.

Between 1993 and 1994 he accumulated a 20% stake in the Siberian aluminium factory - to the annoyance of the plant's communist-era bosses. "I was expecting they would treat me as a shareholder. But they said, 'No, you have the shares, but we run our business. And it's separate.'"

Deripaska persuaded the workforce not to go on strike, boosted production, and - it's not entirely clear how - crushed the local mafia.

[edit] Later career

In 2005, he was included in the Sunday Times Rich List (on account of the time he spends living in the United Kingdom) with an estimated wealth of £4,375m, but was not listed in 2006; however, according to an August 2006 article in the New York Times, the Russian business newspaper Vedomosti has estimated Deripaska's total wealth at $14 billion, which, if true, would either make him Russia's richest man or possibly tied for the spot with fellow multibillionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich.[10]

He is currently the richest person in Russia according to an April 18, 2008 Forbes magazine report, with "a fortune of $28.6 billion -- $11.8 billion more than he was worth last year."[11] However, he has consistently said that the estimate of his wealth was exaggerated and he should have been ranked far below the top ten on the list of Russian billionaires. [12]

Deripaska has a London home in Belgrave Square, which was originally the town residence of the Dukes of Bedford. In September 2006, Deripaska was rumored to be interested in buying Arsenal F.C. for £350m;[13] however, Arsenal subsequently denied these claims. Deripaska also denied these rumors. [14].

In 2006, Group, which combines automotive assets of Basic Element's Russian Machines Corporation, purchased 100% shares of LDV Holdings (producer of light commercial vehicles, the city of Birmingham, Great Britain) from the American Fund Sun Capital. The main product of LDV is the light commercial vehicle Maxus. In less than a year after the Group had gained control of LDV the factory returned to profitability.[15] [16]

In April 2007, Deripaska acquired 25 percent (€1.05 billion) of the Austrian construction company STRABAG SE, which is owned by Hans-Peter Haselsteiner. STRABAG SE is the 6th largest construction business in Europe. He also bought 9.99 percent big stakes in the German construction company HOCHTIEF.[17]

In May 2007, Magna International chairman Frank Stronach announced that Deripaska was becoming a strategic partner in Magna. [18]

On 25 July, 2008 GAZ Group launched the serial production of [19] sedan, which is based on a platform acquired from the American corporation Chrysler and was designed by the leading British studio UltraMotive. Engineers and specialists from Magna International played an active role in the installation and fine tuning of the assembly line, as well as in the training of the Group employees. GAZ Group plans to add other models to the production at the assembly line. [20]

On October 3, 2008 Magna International announced that Russian Machines terminated its participation as a shareholder of the Canadian auto parts maker. However the companies said that development of autocomponents business in Russia, as well as other joint projects, would continue.

It was reported in May 2008 that Deripaska had shown an interest in purchasing an English Premier League Football Club, and was strongly linked to purchasing West Bromwich Albion. In June 2008, Albion announced that they are looking for serious investors and/or buyer and The Daily Mirror stated that the move of Oleg Deripaska taking over is a possibility. However, Deripaska has made no indication that he is interested in buying West Brom. Earlier he had even denied having any commercial interest in English football industry in an interview with The Guardian newspaper [21].

On October 5 2008, the well informed Mandrake column in the Daily Telegraph disclosed that Peter Mandelson had, while he was the EC Commissioner, availed himself of Deripaska's hospitality aboard his yacht the Queen K while she was anchored off Corfu. Mandelson's spokesman Peter Power downplayed the encounter, saying it was a purely social occasion and that was the extent of Mandelson's links with Deripaska. Subsequently Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, a former employee of Mandelson, appeared to contradict this when he said Mandelson had had a series of dinners earlier with Deripaska. This was of interest to the Conservative Opposition since Mandelson had as EC Commissioner been involved with fixing alumunium tariffs which clearly had an impact on Deripaska's business activities.

However David O'Sullivan, Director-General of the Commission's trade department, denied that Lord Mandelson personally intervened to influence decisions on aluminium import tariffs, Press Association newswire wrote. Mr O'Sullivan, who worked closely with Lord Mandelson during his four years in Brussels, said in an open letter to British newspapers that all relevant decisions had been taken in line with EU law, transparently, and in the interest of EU companies and consumers. The letter declared: "I am very surprised by the allegations in the British Press about Peter Mandelson, Oleg Deripaska and aluminium. He said decisions on tariffs and "anti-dumping" duties on Russian aluminium were "based on sound facts". "Far from receiving favourable treatment from the EU, RUSAL may end up having to pay duties on its exports to the EU", said the Director-General.

[edit] Lawsuits

In 2005, David and Simon Reuben pursued legal action against Deripaska for alleged breach of contract. The dispute was settled out of court.

A law suit against Deripaska was filed in the Commercial Court of the High Court in London on November 24, 2006 by Michael Cherney[22]. Cherney is seeking $3 billion, which he claims represents 20 percent of Rusal's stock. In May 2007 Judge Langley refused to hear the case, because Deripaska is not domiciled in England and the claim form had not been duly served upon him.

On July 3, 2008, British High Court Judge Christopher Clarke ruled that Cherney had the right to sue Deripaska for $4 billion (£2 billion). A spokesman for Deripaska stressed that the ruling was "not on the substance of the case...[R]ather, it is a procedural judgment about where that case should be heard" adding "We disagree with the pejorative claims made about Russian courts in the judgment"[23]. "On the substance of the case, we vehemently reject the vexatious claims made by Mr Cherney, and look forward to setting out our case on these claims", he said in the statement

On July 22, 2008, Clarke granted leave to appeal to Deripaska

Business introduction

Deripaska is the sole owner and a Chairman of the Supervisory board of Basic Element, a diversified investment company established in 1997 with assets in Russia and abroad. Basic Element's main assets are concentrated in six sectors - Energy, Resources, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Construction and Aviation. The major assets include UC Rusal[4], the world’s largest aluminium and alumina producer, [5], GAZ Group automotive company, Soyuz Bank, Ingosstrakh insurance company, Aviacor aircraft manufacturer, SMR mining company, Continental Management Timber Industrial Company, Glavstroy and Transstroy] construction companies, stakes in Strabag (25%), Hochtief (10%) and Switzerland based Fahrni (100%). In 2007, Basic Element's consolidated revenues exceeded USD26 billion. The market value of the Company's assets is estimated at USD45 billion [6]. Basic Element employs 300,000 people and owns companies in Russia, the CIS countries, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Deripaska is one of 16 global business leaders who drafted CEO Climate Policy Recommendations to G8 Leaders, a document outlining international business community's proposals to effectively tackle global warming. The proposals were signed by more than 100 of the world's leading corporations and handed to Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on June 20, 2008. G8 leaders discussed the recommendations during the summit in Japan on July 7-9, 2008. The process was coordinated by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. [7] [8]

In 2004, Deripaska was appointed by the President of Russia to represent the country in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council (ABAC). He has held the position of Chairman of ABAC Russia since 2007.

Deripaska is Vice President of the [Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Russian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce] and a member of the Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Council, an agency of the Russian Government].

He sits on the Boards of Trustees of the Bolshoi Theatre, the School of Business Administration, the School of Public Administration, and the School of Economics at Moscow State University and the School of Business Administration at St. Petersburg State University. Deripaska is a co-founder of the National Science Support Foundation and the National Medicine Fund.

In 1999, Deripaska was awarded the Order of Friendship of Peoples by President Boris Yeltsin.

Oleg Deripaska

Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska (Russian: Олег Владимирович Дерипаска) (born January 2, 1968 in Dzerzhinsk, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast) is a Russian billionaire, and a member of the Board of Directors of UC Rusal, a Russian aluminium industry company