Oleksandr Yaroslavsky

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Oleksandr Yaroslavsky
Олександр Ярославський
Born (1959-12-05) December 5, 1959 (age 55)
Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, Ukrainian SSR
Occupation Businessman
Net worth $3.5 bln
Children 5

Oleksandr Yaroslavsky (Ukrainian: Олександр Ярославський; born December 5, 1959) is a Ukrainian businessman. He was formerly co-owner of UkrSibbank and President of FC Metalist Kharkiv. He is currently President of Development Construction Holding (DCH) and, according to Ukrainian and East European mass-media, is one of the most influential people in Ukraine. In 2014, he was ranked by Forbes as the tenth richest person in the country.

Early Life[edit]

Yaroslavsky was born in Zhdanov (now Mariupol), southeastern Ukraine. Both of his parents were doctors, and the family moved to Kharkiv while he was still a child. He graduated as a technologist from the Kharkiv Academy of Public Nutrition and then spent three years in the Soviet Army, for most of which time he served in Hungary. Upon being demobilized, Yaroslavsky spent one year as an inspector in the Kharkiv Department for Internal Affairs, and in 1989 he graduated from the Odessa Institute of Technology as a Candidate of Technical Sciences. He subsequently worked at the Kharkiv Institute of Food before deciding to become an entrepreneur upon the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Business Activities[edit]

Yaroslavsky was Vice-President of Gaia until 1996 and then became Vice-President of the Ukrainian representative office of Triverton International until 1997. From 1998 he was the President and major shareholder of JSCIB UkrSibbank (UKRSIB Group). He transferred control of UkrSibbank to BNP Paribas in 2006 and in the following year he devolved UKRSIB Group and consolidated it and his other operations under a single entity, DCH Group, of which he is the sole owner. In 2010, BNP Paribas took full ownership of UkrSibbank, retaining the services of DCH for debt recovery and other operational assistance. DCH is one of the most powerful conglomerates in Ukraine and includes holdings in finance, industry, quarrying and cement, mining (Ukrainian Mining Co.) and real estate development (including the Vozdvyzhenka Elite Housing Estate in Kiev). One of Yaroslavsky’s principal interests is protecting the investments of his foreign partners which, as well as BNP Paribas, include Citigroup (USA) and Apollo (USA). Both of these companies share ownership, with DCH, of the Karavan Shopping Malls Network. In partnership with the government, DCH rebuilt Kharkiv International Airport. The state financed the reconstruction of the airfield, and Yaroslavsky constructed a completely new terminal as well as renovated the old airport building to become Ukraine’s first private terminal. This work constituted the first airport development that had been carried out in Ukraine for 25 years and was officially opened on August 28, 2010. On February 25, 2011, DCH completed the sale of Merefa Glass Ltd to the Turkish company Sisecam in a deal amounting to EUR 32 million, and in early March 2011, DCH sold OJSC Azot to Dmytro Firtash. The sum remains undisclosed, but at the time Yaroslavsky said that he was "satisfied". According to experts, it was $800 million. Yaroslavsky also constructed the first 5* hotel in Kharkiv, the Kharkiv Palace, which opened on December 5, 2011. During Euro 2012 it was the HQ for UEFA. Yaroslavsky regularly attends Davos and, along with Viktor Pinchuk, co-hosted the Ukrainian Lunch in 2011. He also assisted with organizing the Ukrainian delegation at the annual Yalta European Strategy (YES) Conference in 2011 and 2013.

FC Metalist[edit]

Yaroslavsky became the owner of FC Metalist in 2006 and during his reign the club established a national record by winning the bronze medal in the national championship for six consecutive years. During this period, FC Metalist also reached the semi-final of the Ukrainian Domestic Cup on two occasions and consistently participated in the UEFA Cup, reaching the quarter-final stage in 2011-12 Kharkiv was selected as a venue for Euro 2012 and the city hosted three matches in the group stage. Yaroslavsky had already initiated a modernization program for the sports infrastructure of Kharkiv, including reconstruction of the stadium of FC Metalist. In total, Yaroslavsky`s investment in Kharkiv in preparation for Euro 2012 was $300 million. This included: 1. Reconstruction of the Metalist Stadium in a state-private partnership (with Yaroslavsky contributing 30%). The stadium opened on December 5, 2009. 2. Building a modern training ground for FC Metalist - 100% financed by Yaroslavsky. During Euro 2012 this was a training camp. 3. Building a Children's Football Academy - 100% financed by Yaroslavsky. During the preparation and hosting of Euro 2012 this was used as the UEFA volunteer centre. Yaroslavsky sold FC Metalist to Sergey Kurchenko in December 2012.

Political activity[edit]

In 2002-2006, Yaroslavsky was a People's deputy in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, representing the Party of Greens of Ukraine in the IV Convocation. By his own admission, he achieved little in this role and he stood down upon deciding that he had no wish to remain politically active. He has since remained completely outside of Ukrainian politics. Despite this, research surveys of Kharkiv citizens show that most would like to see him as mayor of the city.

Charity[edit]

In October 2010, Yaroslavsky and Dmytro Firtash (owner of DF Group), at a charity dinner hosted by the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation paid 1.75 million euros for the painting “In Love” by British artist Damien Hirst. This remains the most expensive item ever purchased at an auction in Ukraine, and the money went towards expanding a joint project between ANTIAIDS and the Clinton Foundation. Together with John Elkann, of the Agnelli dynasty, Yaroslavsky has been involved in projects to develop youth football. Yaroslavsky supports other charitable projects, including the activities of the "Rіdny Dim" Fund.

Personal Life[edit]

Yaroslavsky is married and has five children. He enjoys a healthy and sporty lifestyle. He is a keen practitioner of yoga and also enjoys tennis, scuba-diving and skiing. Yaroslavsky is a keen rugby fan and sponsors RC Olymp in Kharkiv. RC Olymp is the most important rugby club in Ukraine and contributes many players to the national squad. They have won the Ukrainian championship ten times and are current holders of the Ukrainian Cup. He is known as having friendly relations with Oleg Deripaska, Roman Abramovich and many other members of the international business elite. For his contribution to the UEFA 2012 tournament, he was awarded the UEFA Order of Merit. He has received a number of national awards and awards from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.


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