15 October 1962 |
|Net worth||$8.8 billion|
Alexey Viktorovich Kuzmichev or Kousmichoff (Russian: Алексей Викторович Кузьмичёв) is a Russian businessman. He is one of the founders of the LetterOne Group (LetterOne). Currently, as well as being a member of the Board of Directors of LetterOne, Mr. Kuzmichev holds various positions at Alfa Group Consortium including being a member of the Supervisory Board of Alfa Group Consortium. Kuzmichev is a graduate of the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys. He is one of the founders and controlling owners of investment conglomerate, Alfa Group. Kuzmichev indirectly controls about 10 percent of VimpelCom, the world's sixth-biggest mobile phone operator; 18 percent of Alfa-Bank, Russia's largest closely held bank; and 11 percent of X5 Retail Group. In March 2013, Kuzmichev sold his stake in energy venture TNK-BP to state-run oil company Rosneft for $2.5 billion. Forbes magazine rates Kuzmichev as the 138th world's richest person (2013) with a fortune estimated at $8.8 billion. According to Bloomberg’s Wealth Ranking Kouzmichev is the 148th richest person globally. Kuzmichev is married to Russian philanthropist Svetlana Kuzmicheva-Uspenskaya, founder and director of Project Perpetual. They have one son.
Kuzmichev was born in 1962 in Kirov, Russia. Between 1980 and 1982 he served in the army on the Soviet-Chinese border as a radio operator. During this time he joined the Communist party. In 1983, he enrolled in the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys where he met his future business partners, Mikhail Fridman and German Khan. In 1988 Kuzmichev, Fridman and Khan, along with Mikhail Alfimov, founded Alfa Photo, which specialized in the import of photo chemicals. Later, Kuzmichev convinced his partners to diversify into the export business. Thus in 1998 Alfa Eco was founded. This venture would become the basis of Alfa Group Consortium. (In 2005, Alfa Eco was rebranded as A1).
Alfa Group’s portfolio includes the largest commercial bank in Russia, Alfa-Bank, (with affiliates in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and the Netherlands/Amsterdam Trade Bank); international telecom company VimpelCom (the sixth largest mobile network operator in the world by subscribers as of April, 2012); as well as holding shares in Turkish telecommunications company Turkcell. Until April 2012, Alfa Group owned 25 percent of Russian cell phone operator MegaFon; it sold its share for $5.2 billion. Alfa also has stakes in Russian retailer X5 Retail Group, Rosvodokanal Group; and insurance company, Alfa-Strakhovanie Group. Kuzmichev owns over 18 percent of the consortium’s joint assets and is a member of the board of directors of Alfa Finance Holdings. The Group’s major transactions include TNK oil company privatization, which later became a part of TNK-BP venture, Russia’s third-largest oil producer. In March 2013 Alfa Group and its joint partners AAR Consortium sold 50 percent of TNK-BP to Russian oil company Rosneft.
Location of operations
Kuzmichev has worked in Europe, the former Soviet Union republics, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iran and Iraq. Speaking to Russian newspaper Vedomosti in 2002 following the reduction of Russian oil sales to the EU, he claimed market opportunities had been reduced for independent traders due to an increasingly globalised business in raw materials such as oil, metals and food stuffs.
Russian export blend crude oil
Kuzmichev is responsible for overseeing Alfa Group’s international trading operations. He has criticised the existing methods of pricing of the Russian Export Blend Crude Oil (REBC) and became a vocal proponent of detachment of its price from BFOE (Brent, Forties, Oseberg, Ekofisk). Kuzmichev has proposed that REBCO should be traded on an internationally recognised commodity exchange to achieve fair and transparent pricing. Through the continued efforts of Kuzmichev, together with Expertica Group, a deliverable futures contract for REBCO was launched on NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange, now part of the CME Group) in 2006, followed by a financially settled futures contract in 2008.
Sinking of The Prestige
Crown Resources, a European oil and commodity trading arm of Alfa Group, of which Kuzmichev is chairman, was the owner of the oil cargo on The Prestige vessel, which sank near the coast of Galicia, Spain in 2002. The case concerning The Prestige centred on the negligence of the vessel’s owner and was completed in July 2013. No accusations or financial claims were brought against Crown Resources.
Mr Kuzmichev is one of the original founders of the LetterOne Group. The LetterOne Group (LetterOne) is an international investment business based in Luxembourg. Its investments are focused on the telecoms, technology and energy sectors through its two main business units, L1 Energy and L1 Technology. Despite recently being required by the Government to sell their North Sea oil and gas fields, LetterOne have reportedly been told in a letter from a senior UK official that this ‘is not a judgement on the suitability of LetterOne’s owners to control these or any other assets in the UK.
The Babylon Project
The Babylon Project was founded by Kuzmichov in 2002. It is aimed at establishing an international foundation to preserve the ancient treasures of Iraq. Kuzmichev asked Russia, the U.S. and other countries to join in a cultural initiative to safeguard the ruins of Babylon, near the town of Hillah, as well as participate in restoration of the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad, which suffered heavy looting in 2003. Due to ongoing unrest in Iraq, the project is currently frozen.
Mr Kuzmichev’s wife, Svetlana Kuzmicheva-Uspenskaya, is founder and director of Project Perpetual – a group which harnesses the contributions of the world’s leading contemporary artists and global global influencers to raise funds and facilitate advocacy for children in peril. Mr Kuzmichev’s role in the charity was to be part of the lead sponsorship of the 2013 Global Leadership Awards Dinner at the United Nations. The project is partnered with the United Nations Foundation
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