Petr Olegovich Aven
Petr Aven speaking in New York, 2015
|Born||March 16, 1955 (age 65)|
|Education||Moscow State University|
|Net worth||US$4.6 billion|
Petr Olegovich Aven (also transliterated Pyotr Aven; Russian: Пëтр Олегович Авен; born March 16, 1955) is an International businessman, economist and politician. He heads Alfa-Bank, Russia's largest commercial bank. He is a member of the Board of Directors at LetterOne Group. L1 Group was established in 2013 to invest in international projects in energy, telecommunications and technology.
Aven is one of many Russian oligarchs named in the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, CAATSA, signed into law by President Trump in 2017.
Petr Aven is also the author of some scientific papers and articles on economic and trade issues and is quoted in the financial and trade press on matters related to the Russian economy and trade policy. In 2015 Petr Aven and Alfred Kokh published Gaidar’s Revolution: The Inside Account of the Economic Transformation of Russia, drawing on their experience of the Russian Government and the former First Minister for the Economy, Yegor Gaidar. In his review of the book, John Lloyd of the Financial Times called it “an illuminating study of the reformers who sought to revive Russia’s post- Soviet economy.”
In 2015 he was named number 301 in the richest people in the world, with a worth of around $5.1 billion.
Early life and education
Born in Moscow, his father, professor of computer science Oleg Aven (Russian: Олег Иванович Авен), was half Latvian and half Russian and his mother was from a Jewish family. His paternal grandfather Janis Aven or Jānis Avens (lv) was a Latvian rifleman.
After graduation from university, Aven was a senior researcher at the All-Union Institute for Systems Studies at the USSR Academy of Sciences and then spent time at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria (1989–1991).
Concerning Russian economic reform in the early 1990s, he and other reformer colleagues had consulted with foreign academics by 1990 on trying to find a new system. When Boris Yeltsin became president, he appointed Aven with the task of making the ruble convertible and finding a solution to foreign debt. Aven went on to become the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations for the Russian Federation (1991–1992), serving as Russia's representative to the Group of Seven and conducting a number of high-level trade and economic missions to Western capitals. After leaving the government in December 1992, Aven became an adviser to the president of JSC "LogoVAZ" Boris Berezovsky and remained in this post until the end of 1993. In 1993 he joined the Russia's Choice movement and was a candidate for State Duma.
In October 1994, Aven met Alfa Group's Mikhail Fridman, and soon became an Alfa Bank shareholder serving as a member of the Supervisory Board of the Alfa Group Consortium. From 1994 until June 2011, he served as the President of Alfa-Bank Russia. Currently Aven is a Member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABH Holdings S.A. Aven is also Chairman of the Board of Directors at AlfaStrakhovanie Group, Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of CTC Media, Inc. In 2012, the Alfa Group together with Viktor Vekselberg of Renova Group and Leonard Blavatnik of Access Industries sold their aggregate 50% stake in TNK-BP to state-owned Rosneft for $28 billion.
In 2013, Aven joined the Board of LetterOne Group, an international investment business founded by Mikhail Fridman and focused on the telecoms, technology and energy sectors. The L1 Group owns companies – and has equity investments in companies – with operations in 32 countries around the world.
LetterOne acquired assets from German utility business E. ON in October 2015, in a deal worth $1.6bn, that saw the Luxembourg-based group gain Norwegian oil and gas resources. In the following month, LetterOne also announced their intention to deal with Brazilian telecoms company Oi SA, and boost their presence in the mobile phone sector there.
In 2005, a United States district court in Washington, D.C. dismissed a 2000 libel suit by Aven and fellow Alfa Bank owner Mikhail Fridman against the Center for Public Integrity over an online article which included a suggestion that they had been involved in drug-running and organized crime; the federal judge ruled that there was no evidence of actual malice on the part of the publication and that Fridman and Aven were limited public figures regarding the public controversy involving corruption in post-Soviet Russia.
In May 2017 Aven, along with fellow Alfa Bank owners Mikhail Fridman and German Khan, filed a defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed for publishing the unverified Donald Trump–Russia dossier, which alleges financial ties and collusion between Putin, Trump, and the three bank owners. In October 2017 Aven, Fridman, and Khan also filed a libel suit against the private-investigation firm Fusion GPS and its founder Glenn Simpson, who had commissioned former MI6 agent Christopher Steele to compile the dossier, for circulating the dossier among journalists and allowing it to be published. In May 2018, the Kremlin released a statement noting that Aven, Fridman and Khan were not representing interests of Putin or the Russian government. The statement followed a meeting between the Kremlin, Aven and Fridman. In April 2018 Aven, Fridman, and Khan filed a libel suit against Steele in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, but the suit was dismissed with prejudice the following August.
In September 2018, attorneys for Aven, Fridman and Khan filed another suit against investigative firm Fusion GPS and founder Glenn Simpson alleging defamation from the Steele report. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon has yet to rule on the suit.
Together with fellow Alfa Bank partners Mikhail Fridman and German Khan, Aven brought a lawsuit for defamation in Britain against Orbis Business Intelligence, Steele’s private intelligence firm. In July 2020, Justice Warby from the Queen’s Bench Division of the British High Court of Justice ordered Steele to pay damages to Aven and Fridman who Steele claimed had delivered "large amounts of illicit cash" to Vladimir Putin when Putin was deputy mayor of St. Petersburg. Judge Warby stated that the claim was "demonstrably false" and awarded the damages to compensate "for the loss of autonomy, distress and reputational damage caused by the breaches of duty". The judge stated that Steele’s dossier also inaccurately claimed that Aven and Fridman provided foreign policy advice to Putin.
Petr Aven holds a number of public facing positions:
- A member of the Endowment Foundation Board of Trustees of the New Economic School.
- A trustee of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CERP) in Great Britain.
- A member of the Board of Trustees of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.
- A trustee of the Board of National Association for National Financial Reporting Standards.
- A member of the Council of Trustees of the Russian Olympians Foundation.
- A professor at State University Higher School of Economics.
- A member of President's Council on International Activities of Yale University (USA).
- A member of the Presidium of Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC).
Since April 2006, Petr Aven has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
In 2007, Mr. Aven became Chairman of the Russia-Latvian Business Council.
Mr. Aven has acted as a guest professor and lecturer at some universities, including Yale University, Bar-Elan University (Israel), and the University of Glasgow and has published two books on econometrics and on economic reform and numerous articles in Russian and international journals, including in Communist Economies and Economic Transformation in Economic Policy. Yale University Press and the Kiel Institute of World Economics, and other scientific and academic institutes have published Mr. Aven's monographs. Aven is a visitor to Western capitals where he gives lectures on economic developments in Russia.
Petr Aven is a supporter of the arts and theatre in Russia. Aven along with Stan Polovets and three fellow Russian Jewish billionaires, Mikhail Fridman, Alexander Knaster, and German Khan, founded the Genesis Philanthropy Group whose purpose is to develop and enhance Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide.
Aven is also a recognised art collector. His first art purchase was a still life by Pavel Kuznetsov in 1993, and afterwards he began collecting mostly pre-Soviet Russian art, as well as art by artists of other nationalities. Works from his collection have been lent to the Jewish Museum in Moscow, the Tate in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and recently the Royal Academy. In May 2015, pieces from Aven's private collection were put on display at New York's Neue Galerie in an exhibition examining early twentieth century Russian art and its relationship with German art of the time.
On 3 November 2015, Petr Aven received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship in recognition of his contribution to corporate and public service to U.S.-Russia relations, at the 2015 Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Awards Dinner. The award was given to Mr Aven in recognition of his many achievements in building understanding between Russians and Americans during his career.
- Forbes: The World's Billionaires - Pyotr Aven March 2014
- "Exclusive "No Tie" Interview With Head Of The Alfa Banking Holding, Petr Aven On Business, Childhood And Friends".
- "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Cite uses generic title (help)
- "The Forbes World's Billionaires list is the definitive list of the world's wealthiest people, profiling and ranking billionaires from 70 countries by their estimated net worth". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
- National Historical Encyclopedia, Biography of P. O. Aven by N. Zenkovich, 2004
- Interview with P. Aven May, 2010
- Jerusalem Post: "The world's 50 Richest Jews: 41-50" September 7, 2010
- Environment, United States Congress House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Natural Resources, Agriculture Research, and (1990). U.S. Participation in the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA): Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Natural Resources, Agriculture Research, and Environment and the Subcommittee on International Scientific Cooperation and the Subcommittee on Science, Research, and Technology of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred First Congress, Second Session, April 18, 1990. U.S. Government Printing Office.
- Cummings, Mike (November 13, 2017). "Aven offers inside account of the making of modern Russia". YaleNews.
- Petr Aven profile. Alfa-Bank Board of Directors. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
- https://people.forbes.com/profile/peter-aven/24447 Petr Aven profile. Forbes.
- "E.ON agrees 1 billion pound sale of North Sea assets to Fridman". Reuters.
- "Fridman Offers $4 Billion to Merge Brazil Carriers Oi, Tim". Bloomberg.
- Gerstein, Josh (4 October 2017). "3 Russians named in Trump dossier sue Fusion GPS for libel". Politico. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
- "Libel case over mafia-Halliburton link dismissed". Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. 4 October 2005. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
- "Alfa Loses Libel Suit in U.S. Court". The Moscow Times. 29 September 2005. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
- Fortescue, Stephen (2006). Russia's Oil Barons and Metal Magnates: Oligarchs and the State in Transition. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 69. ISBN 9780230800748.
- Porter, Tom (27 May 2017). "Russian Bankers Sue BuzzFeed Over Publication Of Unverified Trump Dossier". Newsweek. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
- Gerstein, Josh (26 May 2017). "Russian bank owners sue BuzzFeed over Trump dossier publication". Politico. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
- "Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, and German Khan v. Buzzfeed, Inc. - Summons and Complaint" (PDF). May 26, 2018. Retrieved August 20, 2018 – via Politico.
- Smith, Geoffrey (11 January 2017). "Here's Why Russian Intelligence Bombshell on Donald Trump Might Be Believable". Fortune. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- Sommer, Allison Kaplan (11 January 2017). "Controversial Dossier on Trump Alleges That Russia Targets Jewish-American Businessmen". Haaretz. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- Saakov, Rafael. "Kremlin: Russian Bankers Weren't 'Envoys' to Atlantic Council". VOA. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
- Polantz, Katelyn (20 April 2018). "3 Russian oligarchs sue Christopher Steele". CNN. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, and German Khan v. Orbis Business Intelligence Limited and Christopher Steele" (PDF). April 16, 2018. Retrieved August 20, 2018 – via CNN.
- "Russia's Alfa Bank fails in lawsuit over Steele's Trump dossier". MSNBC (video). The Rachel Maddow Show. August 20, 2018. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
- "In Steele dossier suit, a skirmish over Russian oligarchs' international profile | Sandhills Express". 2018-09-27. Archived from the original on 2018-09-27. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
- Kantchev, Alan Cullison and Georgi (8 July 2020). "Christopher Steele's Firm Ordered in U.K. to Pay Damages to Russian Bankers". Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
- Re, Greg (9 July 2020). "Ex-spy Christopher Steele ordered to pay damages over 'inaccurate' dossier claims". Fox News. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
- Re, Greg (9 July 2020). "Ex-spy Christopher Steele ordered to pay damages over 'inaccurate' dossier claims". www.msn.com. MSM. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
- Dunleavy, Jerry (8 July 2020). "British judge orders Christopher Steele to pay damages to Russian bankers named in dossier". Washington Examiner. Washington Examiner. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
- Endowment Foundation Board of Trustees. New Economic School. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- CERP Trustees. CERP. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- Council of Trustees. Archived 2008-10-13 at the Wayback Machine Russian Olympians Foundation. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- Petr Aven profile. HSE. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- "President's Council on International Activities". Yale University.
- "RIAC :: Experts". russiancouncil.ru.
- Petr Aven profile Businessweek.com. Retrieved 14 November 2011
- Petr Aven profile. Archived 2012-04-02 at the Wayback Machine Skolkovo Experts and Lecturers. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- New York Times: "Russians Join Israel to Start Jewish Prize of $1 Million" by David M. Herszenhorn June 26, 2012
- Yad Vashem: "Ceremony Marking the Cooperation between Yad Vashem and the Genesis Philanthrophy Group" June 12, 2009
- "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Cite uses generic title (help)
- "From The Director". Neue Galerie.
- The Editors of ARTnews (2009-07-01). "The Faking of the Russian Avant-Garde". ARTnews. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
- "Ghent museum director under fire from Flemish museums". theartnewspaper.com. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
- "Petr Aven receives Woodrow Wilson Award in Washington DC - LetterOne". www.letterone.com.
- "The Royal Academy Development Trust". Royal Academy.