Jan Kulczyk

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Jan Kulczyk
Jan Kulczyk2009.jpg
Jan Kulczyk
Born (1950-06-24)24 June 1950
Bydgoszcz, Poland
Died 28 July 2015(2015-07-28) (aged 65)
Vienna, Austria
Residence Poznań, Poland
Nationality Polish
Alma mater Adam Mickiewicz University
Poznań University of Economics
Occupation Businessman
Net worth $4.1 billion (February 2015)[1]
Children 2

Jan Kulczyk (24 June 1950 – 28 July 2015) was a Polish businessman and entrepreneur. He was the founder and owner of Kulczyk Holding (headquartered in Warsaw) and international investment house Kulczyk Investments (former name: Kulczyk Investment House) with headquarters in Luxembourg and offices in London, Kiev and Dubai. According to Forbes magazine, Kulczyk was the richest citizen of Poland.[2]


Kulczyk graduated from VI Jan i Jędrzej Śniadeccy Secondary School in Bydgoszcz in 1968. He studied law at the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan and foreign trade at the Academy of Economics in Poznan. He received a doctor’s degree in political sciences and international law in 1975 at the Western Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences.[3]

Business career[edit]

Kulczyk’s founded his first company in 1981 with money from his father Henryk. The Interkulpol joint-venture was one of the first international trade companies created in Poland after the second world war.[3] In 1988 Jan Kulczyk became the authorized Volkswagen dealer in Poland. His first great business was zl.150-million deal for 3,000 Volkswagen cars delivered to the Polish police and the security services in the early 1990s.[4] In 1991, Kulczyk Holding limited liability company was founded. In 1993 it became a public company. Jan Kulczyk was the chairman of the board.[5]

The completed investments in his portfolio were:

  1. Telekomunikacja Polska (47.5% during the years 2000 to 2005 it was owned by a consortium made up of Kulczyk Holding and France Telecom (Kulczyk Holding - 13.6%));[6]
  2. Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (4,8% share in 1993-1999 in partnership with Deutsche Telekom);[7]
  3. TUiR Warta (1996-2006, almost 70% shares. All of it were stock-bought, except 19,8% pur-chased from the State Treasury by tender);[8]
  4. PTE Warta (50% shares in 2000-2005);[9]
  5. PKN Orlen (nearly 5% shares in 2001-2005).[10]

In 2007 Jan Kulczyk reorganized Kulczyk Holding into Kulczyk Investment House, later known as Kulczyk Investments.[11]

Kulczyk was involved in investments in energy, oil and gas, infrastructure, real estate and brewery sectors. Kluczyk Investments had 40% share in Neconde Energy Limited, an oil mining company in Nigeria,[12] 3,49% in San Leon Energy (prospecting, assessment and mining of oil and gas),[13] 33,72% in Loon Energy Corporation (oil prospecting and mining license owner in Columbia and Peru),[14] 49,99% in Kulczyk Oil Ventures (oil and gas prospecting in Brunei, Syria and Ukraine)[15] and 9,73% in Ophir Energy (oil mining license owner in Africa).[16] Kulczyk Investments portfolio held also 15,4% of Strata Limited, a company conducting resource projects in Africa[17] and 25% of Centar, a company prospect-ing in Afghanistan and other countries in Central Asia and Africa.[18]

In 2010, in cooperation with Silverstein Properties Inc., Kulczyk Silverstein Properties was founded. This join-venture company specialized in commercial real estate on Central Europe market.[19] In 2009, he traded 28% share of Kompania Piwowarska for 3% of SABMiller - the world’s second biggest beer producer.[20] Jan Kulczyk held 24% share of Autostrada Wielkopolska,[21] 40% of Autostrada Wielkopolska II[22] and 45% of Autostrada Eksploatacja via his subsidiary companies.[23] He also owned 58,42% share of Pekaes SA.[24]

Kulczyk Investments created the first private-owned energetic group in Poland to operate on the global market - it was a vertically-integrated group of companies operating under a mutual brand Polenergia. Polenergia operated in the energy production as well as in the distribution and trading sector.[25] In 2011 Kulczyk purchased 100% share in Nowa Sarzyna Power Plant.[26] By the agency of Kulczyk Pon Investment and Skoda Auto Polska he imported VW, Audi, Porsche and Skoda cars to Poland to 2011.

After Jan Kulczyk’s passing, his children became his successors. Dominika Kulczyk is a board mem-ber of Kulczyk Investments and is responsible for the company CSR.[27] Sebastian Kulczyk is the CEO since December 2013[28] and since August 2015 he took his father’s place in the board of Ciech S.A.[29]

Other activities[edit]

Jan Kulczyk was the co-founder of the Polish Business Roundtable.[30] He also was the Honorary Chairman of the German – Polish Chamber of Commerce.[31]

Since June 2006 he chaired in Green Cross International Board of Directors - UN-afiliated organization set about ecological safety. Since 6 October 2007 he presided over it.[32]

He also was the president of the Board for Supporting the Scientific Research at the Adam Mickie-wicz University of Poznan,a long-term member of the Board of the National Museum of Poznan and the Church Economic Board. Moreover, he chaired in the International Governors Board afiliated with the Peres Center for Peace.

In February 2008 he was incorporated into confraternity of the Order of Saint Paul.[33]

In 2010 he founded the CEED Institute, a think-tank promoting development of Central and Eastern Europe countries.[32]

In 2012 he donated 20 mln PLN to the Museum of History of the Polish Jews of Warsaw. He funded the permanent exposition and took patronage over its auditorium. It was the biggest one-time donation for the newly-formed museum.[34]

In March 2014 he founded the Council of Polish Investors in Africa, which was formed to support Polish companies in estabilishing business relations on the African markets.[35] The Board consisted of representatives of the most important companies investing on this continent - Kulczyk Investments, Polpharma, Grupa Azoty, Krezus, Ursus and Lubawa.[36]


In 2004 Jan Kulczyk was associated with to the Orlen Scandal. Parliamentary investigative commission report stated that Jan Kulczyk could have big influence over operations and personnel politics of PKN Orlen, incommensurable to the share he owned. Moreover, the report stated that Jan Kulczyk talked with the former KGB resident in Poland, Vladimir Alganov.

Regarding the Orlen investigation, the proceedings at the Prosecutors’ Office in Katowice commenced and the parliamentary investigative commission was appointed. Kulczyk was heard as a witness by the prosecutor’s office four times (the last one in April 2008) and submitted extensive explanation to the parliamentary investigative commission. Due to lack of evidence, the Prosecutor’s Office discontinued the proceedings.[37]

Jan Kulczyk was also linked to the so-called Kulczykpark scandal. The Poznan city officials were accused of underrating the land value in the city center, where Kulczyk realized his Old Brewery investment.[38]

Personal life and death[edit]

Jan Kulczyk was divorced with two children from his marriage with Grażyna Kulczyk: Sebastian (born 1980) and Dominika (born 1977).[39] Joanna Przetakiewicz was his long-time partner.

Jan Kulczyk died on 29 July 2015 in Allgemeines Krankenhaus der Stadt Wien in Vienna due to cardiac surgery complications. He was buried in a family vault at the Jeżycki cemetery in Poznan, next to his father, Henryk Kulczyk (1925-2013).[40]

The richest man in Poland[edit]

In 2012, the Forbes magazine put Jan Kulczyk in the first place of the richest businessmen in Poland ranking, with 8,9 billion PLN.[41] The same year Wprost magazine also put Jan Kulczyk at the top of its ranking, assessing his wealth for 9,7 billion PLN. In 2013 american Forbes magazine rated Jan Kulczyk 384th of the wealthiest people in the world, with 3,5 billion $ worth fortune, making him the highest ranked Polishman among the world’s billionaires.

Jan Kulczyk was ranked first on the list of 100 richest Polishmen by the Wprost magazine 13 times. In 2007 he was ranked 12th, due to divorce with Grażyna Kulczyk. In 2015, Forbes ranked him 418th richest man in the world (3,9 bn $).[42]

Awards and commendations[edit]

  • Irena Sendlerowa Award (2015)[43]
  • Officer’s Cross of Polonia Restituta (2015)[44]
  • Patron of Culture Title (2012)
  • Chevalier’s Cross of Polonia Restituta (1998)
  • Kisiel’s Award (1992)[33]


  1. ^ "Jan Kulczyk". Forbes. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Kulczyk holds top spot in richest Poles list". Polskie Radio. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  3. ^ a b Prominent Poles, http://www.angelfire.com/scifi2/rsolecki/jan_kulczyk.html
  4. ^ Poland’s Richest Man Dies, http://www.warsawvoice.pl/WVpage/pages/article.php/28178/article, August 28, 2015
  5. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/history/149
  6. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/103
  7. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/104
  8. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/105
  9. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/106
  10. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/107
  11. ^ Ceed Institute, http://ceedinstitute.org/page/190
  12. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/86
  13. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/88
  14. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/91
  15. ^ Pioneering High Impact Exploration, http://www.businessinfocusmagazine.com/2013/03/kulczyk-oil-ventures/
  16. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/206
  17. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/90
  18. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/179
  19. ^ Kulczyk Silverstein Properties, About us, http://ksprop.com/en/page/about-us
  20. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/100
  21. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/92
  22. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/93
  23. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/project/94
  24. ^ Kulczyk’s empire strikes back, http://www2.polskieradio.pl/eo/dokument.aspx?iid=108261
  25. ^ Polenergia, About the company, http://polenergia.pl/pol/en/page/about-company
  26. ^ Polenergia, History, http://polenergia.pl/pol/en/page/history
  27. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/page/76
  28. ^ Poland's richest man, Jan Kulczyk, dies at 65, https://uk.news.yahoo.com/polands-richest-man-jan-kulczyk-dies-65-074537192--finance.html#ETIMrbE
  29. ^ Ciech SA, http://markets.ft.com/research/Markets/Tearsheets/Directors-and-dealings?s=CIE:WSE
  30. ^ PRB, History of the Association, http://www.prb.pl/en/history-of-the-association/
  31. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/page/211
  32. ^ a b Ceed Institute, http://ceedinstitute.org/page/188
  33. ^ a b Nagroda Ireny Sendlerowej, http://nagrodairenysendlerowej.pl/winners
  34. ^ Poland's richest man gives record sum to Jewish museum, http://www.thenews.pl/1/11/Artykul/104730,Polands-richest-man-gives-record-sum-to-Jewish-museum
  35. ^ Ceed Institute, http://ceedinstitute.org/page/385
  36. ^ Ceed Institute, http://ceedinstitute.org/page/383
  37. ^ The Prodigal Tycoon Returns, http://www.warsawvoice.pl/WVpage/pages/articlePrint.php/7156/article
  38. ^ Verdict in Kulczykpark trial today, http://www2.polskieradio.pl/eo/dokument.aspx?iid=76087
  39. ^ Poland's richest man, Jan Kulczyk, dies at 65, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/07/29/uk-poland-kulczyk-idUKKCN0Q30PR20150729
  40. ^ Poland's Richest Man And Legendary Investor Jan Kulczyk Dead At 65, http://www.forbes.com/sites/luizaoleszczuk/2015/07/29/polands-richest-man-and-legendary-investor-jan-kulczyk-dead-at-65/
  41. ^ Kulczyk tops the ranking of richest Poles, http://www.thenews.pl/1/12/Artykul/91265,Kulczyk-tops-the-ranking-of-richest-Poles
  42. ^ Jan Kulczyk on Forbes Lists, http://www.forbes.com/profile/jan-kulczyk/?list=billionaires
  43. ^ Kulczyk Investments, http://kulczykinvestments.com/mediacenter#art-1891
  44. ^ The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture mourns the loss of Dr. Jan Kulczyk, http://www.taubephilanthropies.org/dr-jan-kulczyk

External links[edit]