Arkady Rotenberg

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Arkady Rotenberg
Arkadi Rotenberg - Moscow Kremlin 29 Oct 2013 (crop).jpg
Rotenberg in 2013 after receiving a medal
Born Arkady Romanovitch Rotenberg
(1951-12-15) 15 December 1951 (age 66)
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Residence Odintsovsky District, Moscow Oblast, Russia
Nationality Russian
Alma mater Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health[1]
Occupation Cofounder of SMP Bank, Head of SGM
Net worth Increase $2.3 billion (2017) [2]
Children 5
Awards

Arkady Romanovitch Rotenberg (Russian: Аркадий Романович Ротенберг, born December 15, 1951 in Leningrad) is a Russian businessman and tycoon. With his brother Boris Rotenberg, he is co-owner of the Stroygazmontazh (SGM) group, the largest construction company for gas pipelines and electrical power supply lines in Russia.

He was listed by Forbes in 621st place among the world's wealthiest persons in 2014.[2] He is considered a close confidant of president Vladimir Putin.[3] As of November 2017, Forbes estimates his fortune at $2.5 billion. He is subject to personal sanctions by the United States government related to the events during the Ukrainian crisis.

Biography[edit]

Rotenberg was born in 1951 in Leningrad, where his father, Roman, worked in management at the Red Dawn telephone factory, allowing the family to avoid living in a communal apartment.[4] Rotenberg is of Jewish ancestry.[5][6] In 1963, when he was age twelve, Rotenberg and Vladimir Putin both joined Anatoly Rakhlin's sambo club.[4]

In 1978, Rotenberg graduated from the Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health and became a judo trainer.[4] After Putin returned to Russia in 1990, Rotenberg trained with him several times a week.[4] During the 1990s, Rotenberg and his brother, Boris, who had moved to Finland, traded in petroleum products.[4] When Putin became vice-mayor, Rotenberg secured funding from Gennady Timchenko to found Yavara-Neva, a professional judo club.[4] Later, after the club won nine European Judo Championships and trained four Olympic champions, it was given a new state-funded $180 million facility, including a thousand-seat arena and a yacht club.[4]

In 2000, Putin, who had become President of Russia, created Rosspirtprom, a state-owned enterprise controlling 30% of Russia's vodka market, and put Rotenberg in control.[4] In 2001, Rotenberg and his brother founded the SMP bank, which operates in 40 Russian cities with over 100 branches, more than half of them in the Moscow area. SMP oversees the operation of more than 900 ATM-machines. SMP bank also became a leading large-diameter gas pipe supplier.[4]

Gazprom often appears to have paid Rotenberg inflated prices. In 2007, Gazprom rejected an earlier plan to build a 350-mile pipeline and instead paid Rotenberg $45 billion, 300% of ordinary costs, to build a 1,500 mile pipeline to the Arctic Circle.[4] In 2008, Rotenberg formed Stroygazmontazh (SGM) with five companies he had purchased from Gazprom for $348 million.[4] The next year the company earned over $2 billion in revenue.[4] Rotenberg then bought Northern Europe Pipe Project, which eventually supplied 90% of Gazprom's large diameter pipes and operated at a 30% profit margin, twice the industry average.[4] In 2013, Gazprom increased Rotenberg’s contract for a Krasnodar pipeline by 45%, then continued payments for a year after the Bulgarian segment was canceled.[4]

Rotenberg is the president of the Hockey Club Dynamo Moscow. In 2013 he became a member of the committee of the International Judo Federation.[2] In preparation 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Rotenburg won contracts worth $7 billion, including a $2 billion coastal highway and an underwater gas pipeline that came it at 300% of average costs.[4]

Rotenberg was named in the Panama Papers.[7] Those leaked legal documents show Rotenberg sent $231 million in loans to a company in the British Virgin Islands in 2013.[4]

In 2013 Rotenberg became the chairman of the Enlightenment Publishing House (ru), which had once been the biggest supplier for textbooks in the Soviet Union. After Enlightenment became a private company in 2011, the government of the Russian Federation started to make several changes in that sector. In 2013 an internal council was formed by the Ministry of Education to check all textbooks. Many of Enlightenments competitors books did not pass this new evaluation and so Enlightenment won about 70% of the contracts for new textbooks in the Russian Federation in 2014.[3]

He was formerly married to Natalia Rotenburg, who is about 30 years his junior. They were divorced about 2015 in the U.K. While the financial details of the divorce are private, the agreement includes division of the use of a £35 million Surrey mansion and a £8 million apartment in London. The couple's lawyers had obtained a secrecy order preventing media in the U.K. from reporting on the divorce, but the order was overturned on appeal.[8]

Rotenberg's personal wealth has been estimated in 2018 at $3.1 billion.[8][4]

Sanctions[edit]

As a result of the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, Barack Obama, then President of the United States, signed an executive order instructing his government to impose sanctions on the Rotenberg brothers and other close friends of the President Putin, including Sergei Ivanov and Gennadi Timchenko. These persons were placed on the Specially Designated Nationals List.[9][10][11][12][13][14]

As a result of the sanctions, Visa and MasterCard stopped servicing SMP Bank.[4] In September 2014, Italy seized €30 million of Rotenberg's real estate, including four villas in Sardinia and Tarquinia, and a hotel in Rome.[4] The Russian State Duma then proposed a bill, known as the Rotenberg Law, allowing sanctioned Russians to get compensated by the state, but it was declined.[3][15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rottenberg, Arkady Romanovich // Kommersant.
  2. ^ a b c [1] 14.01.2016, Forbes
  3. ^ a b c Becker, Jo; Myers, Steven Lee (2 November 2014). "Putin's Friend Profits in Purge of Schoolbooks". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Yaffa, Joshua (29 May 2017). "Putin's Shadow Cabinet and the Bridge to Crimea". The New Yorker. Retrieved 7 June 2017. 
  5. ^ Sheldon Kirshner (23 Nov 2015). "Russia's New Tsar". Times of Israel. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  6. ^ Paul Roderick Gregory (14 Oct 2014). "Putin's Reaction To Sanctions Is Destroying The Economy And China Won't Help". Forbes. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  7. ^ "Panama Papers: The Power Players". International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Archived from the original on April 4, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b O’Neill, Sean (24 February 2018). "Putin crony Arkady Rotenberg loses right to secrecy in Britain". the Times (London). Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  9. ^ "Executive Order - Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine". White House Office of the Press Secretary. March 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Treasury Sanctions Russian Officials, Members of the Russian Leadership's Inner Circle, and an Entity For Involvement in the Situation in Ukraine" (Press release). United States Department of the Treasury. 
  11. ^ "Ukraine-related Designations". 
  12. ^ "Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN)". 
  13. ^ Shuklin, Peter (March 21, 2014). "Putin's inner circle: who got in a new list of US sanctions". liga.net. Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2016. 
  14. ^ Executive Order 13661: Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine, 79 Fed. Reg 15,535 (March 19, 2016).
  15. ^ Законопроект №607554-6

External links[edit]

Media related to Arkady Rotenberg at Wikimedia Commons