Yelena Baturina

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Yelena Baturina
Yelena Baturina.jpg
Born Yelena Nikolayevna Baturina
(1963-03-08) 8 March 1963 (age 52)
Moscow, Russian RSFR, Soviet Union
Nationality Russian
Occupation Founder of Inteco and BEOPEN
Known for Richest woman in Russia[1]
Net worth US$1.1 billion.[2]
Spouse(s) Yury Luzhkov (m. 1991)
Children Elena (born 1992)
Olga (born 1994)

Yelena Nikolayevna Baturina (Russian: Еле́на Никола́евна Бату́рина; born 8 March 1963) is a Russian oligarch, Russia's richest woman[1] and the only Russian woman worth more than a billion dollars. She founded a major investment and construction company Inteco. She currently owns a hotel chain and is the founder of BE OPEN, a cultural and philanthropic foundation. She is the 1075th richest person in the world currently, after tumbling from a much higher wealth.[2] Her husband, Yury Luzhkov, was mayor of Moscow from 1992 to 2010.


Baturina is a Moscow native who began working as a design-technician at the Fraser plant (where her parents worked) after graduating from high school.[3] She later got a degree, graduating from the Moscow-based S. Ordzhonikidze State University of Management in 1986.

  • 1980-1982: the Frazer plant, technician-designer, then senior design engineer of the Chief Technologist Department;
  • 1982-1989: Institute of Integrated Economic Development of Moscow, researcher; Russian Union of United Cooperatives, head of the Secretariat; the Mosgorispolkom Commission on cooperative activity, senior specialist.
  • since 1989 engaged in private business activities;
  • 1991-1994: LLP "Inteco", director;
  • 1994-2011: CJSC "Inteco", president;
  • 2006 - 2011: deputy Hhad of the interdepartmental working group on the priority national project "Affordable and Comfortable Housing to Russian citizens", a member of the Commission on the development of affordable housing under the President of the Russian Federation on the implementation of priority national projects and demographic policy.

Baturina met her future husband, Yury Luzhkov, in 1987 when they were both serving at Mosgorispolkom, a Soviet-era municipal commission. At the period of their co-working the relationships were purely professional. In one of her interviews Baturina remembers: “We never even thought about anything like that when we were working together, it all happened much later”.[4] Baturina and Luzhkov married in 1991. The next year he became mayor of Moscow. In 2010 he was dismissed by President Dmitry Medvedev amidst still unproven accusations of corruption and mismanagement voiced on state run television.[5] Yury himself had at one time been tipped to run for president, though he never did. After her husband’s dismissal Baturina moved to London. She explains the choice of the city by the fact that her two daughters were studying in London. In November 2010 Baturina's husband Luzhkov gave an interview to the Telegraph newspaper stating that the couple was sending their daughters to study in London to protect them from possible persecution from the Russian authorities. He also said that a house had been bought in the west of the city for them and that he and his wife intend to visit them regularly. Luzhkov also claimed that the Russian authorities were planning to break up Baturina's business empire and that the couple would fight the attempt: "We will not give up. My wife will battle for her business and for her honour and self-worth. That is for sure.”.[6] In September 2009 The Sunday Times erroneously stated that Witanhurst, a large house in Highgate, North London, had been bought by Baturina, via an offshore front company. Baturina sued the papers owners, Times Newspapers, a subsidiary of News International. Times Newspapers apologized for the story and paid damages to her in October 2011.[7]


In 1989 Baturina launched her first enterprise with her elder brother Victor, primarily dealing with software and hardware for computers.[8] In 1991 Baturina founded her company, Inteco ("Inteko" (Интеко) in Russian), which focuses on construction though it began as a plastics business. In 1994 Inteco purchased plastic factory. In 1998 the company won the contract for producing 85,000 seats for Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow's largest stadium. The critics claimed that the decision was affected by Luzhkov as Mayor of Moscow [5], though Inteco stated that their price was 50% less than their nearest competitor’s.[9] In the middle of 1990s Inteco entered the construction business focusing on development of advanced materials and technologies for facade work, cement, brick and poured concrete construction, architectural design and real estate business.[10] At one point Inteco was said to control 20% of construction in the capital. It is now being restructured away from building projects.

However, according to experts, quoted by media, from 2000 to 2010 of construction activities Inteco's share in the state order was no more than 2%. While the main contractors for the implementation of the Moscow government orders were construction companies MFS-6 (24.5%) Glavmosstroy (20.7%), SU-155 (13.7%) and MSM-5 (12.2%).In 2002 Inteco created a subsidiary "Strategy Construction Company", whose main objective was the construction of monolithic buildings. Such cement plants as "Podgorensky cementnik" and "Oskolcement", one of the largest cement producers in the central Russia, were also bought at that time.[11]

In 2005 Inteco sold its cement works and DSK-3, a producer of prefabricated buildings, for US$1.1 billion. Baturina then bought shares in Gazprom and Sberbank.

At the same time as part of a new cement project Inteco purchased Verkhnebakansky Cement Plant and the Atakaytsement cement factory located in the Krasnodar region.[12][13]

As of 2007, the company owned such entities as Inteko Plast (55%), Bistro Plast (50%), construction firms SK DSK-3 (100%), Styre (100%), Inteco CENTER (100%), Inteco Chess (Elista, 100%), Intekostroy (70%). The company also owned enterprises in the city of Sochi - Park (100%), The Matrix (100%), Sochi AO (75.58%), Horizont (50%), Selectioner (Belgorod region., 100%) and Uspensky Agromashplast "(Moscow reg., Uspensky, 38%). Inteco Group also included Russian Zemelny Bank and trading house Moscow River involved in the supply of grain.

In 2007, the company's revenue, according to its own data, amounted to $ 1 billion.[10]

At the end of 2008, alongside with Gazprom and Russian Railways Inteco was included into the list of 295 strategic enterprises of the country.[14]

In 2009, the company begins cooperating with an outstanding Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill as part of the programme aimed at creating of fundamentally new systems for mass housing in Russia.[15]

In 2010 Inteco launched the construction of the second academic building for the Moscow State University named after Lomonosov.[16]

In 2010, Yelena Baturina was named one of the largest taxpayers in Russia, the taxes to the state budget for 2009 amounted to $ 4 billion rubles. As of 2009, 99% of the company is owned by Yelena Baturina, 1% is on the balance sheet of the Company itself. The project development portfolio is more than 7,000,000 square meters, the cement capacities exceed 0.6 million tons per year.[17]

At the end of 2010 г. Baturina has sold its Russian Zemelny Bank (RZB) to foreign investors.[18]

The most significant completed projects of Inteco in Moscow (in the period of company Yelena Baturina’s ownership) are: the residential quarter "Shuvalov" (270,000 square meters), the residential quarter "Grand Park" (400,000 square meters), the residential site "Volga" (400,000 square meters), the multifunctional complex "Fusion Park" with the "Autoville" - museum of unique cars from private collections (100,000 square meters), the Fundamental Library (60,000 square feet), and the academic building for Humanities (100,000 square meters) of the Moscow State University.[19]

After her husband’s resignation Baturina starts selling her assets in Russia. The best offer was filed by Mikail Shishkhanov and Sberbank Investments. They bought the 95% and 5% shares of Inteco correspondingly.[20] The exact amount of the transaction was never disclosed, but the report of Sberbank stated that according to the experts that participated in the preparation of the deal, the market value of Inteco, its projects and structures was around 1.2 billion dollars.[21] The deal did not include the cement plants of Inteco. One of them was later sold to Lev Kvetnoy for estimated 17 billion rubles.[22]

Hotel business[edit]

The first development in the new hotel chain was the five-star Grand Tirolia Golf & Ski Resort, located in the heart of the Eichenheim golf club in Kitzbühel, Austria. Construction, which was completed in 2009, cost in the region of €35-40 million.[23] In 2009 the hotel achieved honorary status as the “Home of Laureus” in Austria, and became the official venue for the annual ceremony of the prestigious international award that those in the field call the "Oscar" of sports journalism.[24]

In 2010, Baturina opened the New Peterhof Hotel in Saint Petersburg, which received a number of architectural awards.[25] In 2012, following major reconstruction work, Baturina opened the Quisisana Palace in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Housed in a late 19th century building, the hotel combines elements of Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Gothic styles. The restoration of the historic building required significant investment.[26] The hotel is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World association.[27] In 2013 Yelena Baturina opened the Morrison Hotel in Dublin, Ireland. She bought it from NAMA in early 2012 for €22 million. The 138-room hotel on Dublin’s Lower Ormond Quay has undergone a €7 million refurbishment.[28] Another hotel is due to open in Astana, Kazakhstan. All the hotels in Yelena Baturina’s chain are managed by Austrian-based Martinez Hotels & Resorts.

Yelena Baturina has announced her intentions to the press to continue to expand her hotel chain and plans to open 14 hotels by the end of 2015. She said her goal is to own or manage at least 14 hotels around the world by 2015. Her investment in this project will be in the order of 300 million dollars. Baturina said she will commit almost $300 million of her own money toward developing a four-star hotel chain across Europe.[29] "In the future, we think of making up hotel clusters in those regions where we are already present. These are Ireland - United Kingdom, Northern Italy - Austria - Germany, the Baltic States - Russia - Kazakhstan" - Yelena Baturina said in her interview to “Sobesednik”.

Personal wealth[edit]

According to Forbes magazine, Baturina's net worth was US$4.2 billion in 2008,[30] up from US$3.1 billion in 2007,[2] US$2.3 billion in 2006[31] and US$1.1 billion in 2004.[32] According to magazine Finans, her wealth fell during the credit crunch to just US$1 billion in February 2009, causing her to ask the Russian government for a bailout for Inteko.[33] Her wealth, as of 2012, was listed as US$1.1 billion.[2]

Baturina has a diverse portfolio. She owns hotels in the Black Sea tourist resort of Sochi, a hotel in Dublin through a private foundation in Austria, other hotels in Austria and the Czech Republic,[34] over 72,000 hectares of agricultural land in the Belgorod Oblast, and also a factory that produces a million cans of sweetened condensed milk each year.[32]

2013 - 98th place, and $1.1 billion, still the richest business woman in the country.[35] In 2013 the Sunday Times included Baturina into the annual Sunday Times Rich List, [36] the list of the wealthiest people in Britain. The Russian entrepreneur took the 122nd 12th in the women list.[37]

Afterwards a few British journalists pointed out that if you discount the number of women who made the list due to "family wealth" (which they may have contributed towards to a greater or lesser degree), inheritance or divorce — the first self-made female richlister is Yelena Baturina.[38] "Money is like cement in construction. Money is not a goal but a means to reach the goal, the opportunity to do the things you want to do. The more money I have, the more large scale tasks I can solve. But I think you will agree that not everyone who owns a lot of money ever sets himself any tasks".[39]

Development business[edit]

In a series of interviews Baturina mentioned that she is co-investing two development funds. Her partners in this project are the people whom she knows since Inteco times. The funds are involved in the acquisition and construction of real estate, one will invest in European properties, and the other, in U.S. real estate[35] One works with residential, the other - with commercial real estate.[39]

Veedern Group

In 1999 Baturina became chairman of the Equestrian Federation of Russia, and in 2000 acquired the "Veedern" estate in the Suvorovka village of the Kaliningrad Region. Here she planned to revive two-centuries old traditions of horse breeding of the Trakehner horses.[40]

In 2011 the retired Yury Luzhkov took up the management of the estate. He conducted reconstruction of the historical buildings, launched a few innovative cattle-breeding and agricultural projects. Today the estate breeds, trains, rents and sells Hanoverian and Trakehner horses.[41]

Honours and awards[edit]

Yelena Baturina won the State Prize of the Russian Federation for Science and Technology in 2003. Inteco and its projects have won numerous awards and competitions, including: the "Russian Building Olympus" prize for "Architecture and Design Planning" (2008);[42] "Brand of the Year/EFFIE 2007"; national prize for "Construction and Real Estate" (2008);[43] International Star of Leadership award for quality at the 13th Business Initiative Directions (B.I.D.) international convention (Paris, 2009);[44] "Company of the Year" national prize for business for "The Best Investment and Construction Company in Russia in 2009" (2009);[45] International Award for Technology & Quality (Madrid, 2010);[46] International Construction Award (France, 2011).[47]


In 2007 Viktor Baturin, Yelena's brother, with whom she founded Inteco, sued Inteco for US$120 million for wrongful dismissal.[48]

Intimidation of Inteko[edit]

On 9 October 2005 executive director of Inteko-agro Alexander Annenkov was attacked in Belgorod by three assailants armed with axes. He survived.[49] At the time Baturina had been having business problems in Belgorod, with her attempts to modernise farmland there being opposed by local governor Yevgeny Savchenko.[49]

On 13 October 2005, Inteco lawyer Dmitry Steinberg was shot at the entrance to his house. Baturina attended his funeral.[50]

Personal life[edit]

Baturina and Luzhkov

In 1991 Yelena Baturina married Yury Luzhkov. In 1992 their elder daughter, Yelena, was born, followed in 1994 by the younger, Olga. In November 2010 Luzhkov gave an interview to the Telegraph newspaper stating that the couple were sending their daughters to study in London to protect them from possible persecution by the Russian authorities.[51] Today both daughters of Baturina and Luzhkov live in London and are studying Politics and Economy at University College. In her interviews Baturina often says that she and Luzhkov are very lucky, as they still love each other. She enjoys cooking his favourite dish, borscht, and claims that a traditional "Soviet upbringing" made a good housewife of her.[52]

Community involvement[edit]

In 2006, Baturina assumed position of Deputy Head for the inter-ministerial group under the national project "Affordable and Comfortable Housing for Russian citizens." Yelena Baturina was the only representative of the construction industry in the group. In connection to the project Inteco formed a special commission that was inspecting various regions in Russia in order to evaluate the state of the local construction enterprises, to determine the demand for construction materials and to collect demographic and sociological data. As a result, the commission developed the concept of the federal target program "Development of the construction industry". Later on, the Government of the Russian Federation based its "Strategy of development of building materials industry up to 2020” on that program.[53][54] In 2010, Yelena Baturina became one of the first business leaders to provide support to the victims of fires in the Tula region. Among other projects, Inteco also fully sponsored a construction of a nursery school. In addition, Baturina addressed the leaders of other construction companies in Russia and urged them to follow the example.[55]

Support of sport[edit]


Inteco has sponsored Russian Open Golf Championship, one of the stages of the PGA European Tour, as well as provided assistance to members of the Russian junior team during their participation in international competitions. In addition, Yelena Baturina supported charity golf tournament for the Russian Federation President Cup and «Rotary Golf World Championship» in Kitzbühel, Austria.[56]

Equestrian sport[edit]

From 1999 to 2005 Yelena Baturina served as President of the Equestrian Federation of Russia. During this period, the Federation began arranging international competitions for young sportsmen, formed teams of riders of respective age categories that were qualified for participation in the European championships. In Moscow the Federation held multiple competitions, including the Moscow Mayor Cup, one of the stages of the World Cup.[57] Baturina succeeded in raising funds for developing equestrian sport in Russia to the sufficient level for such competition. The sponsoring was directed not only to support adult tournaments, but to the development of youth and junior sports schools as well. Many equestrian sport bases underwent reconstruction, too.[58]

Arts and Culture[edit]

"Russian seasons" in Europe[edit]

The first "Russian Season" organized by Yelena Baturina took place in Kitzbühel, Austria in 2008 - that was a celebration of Russian Orthodox Christmas with classical Russian musicians and Russian folklore ensembles. The following “Russian Seasons" were held not only in Austria but in several other European countries.[59]

Jazza Nova[edit]

One of the most popular and colorful cultural events organized by Yelena Baturina abroad was international music festivals Jazza Nova in Kitzbühel. The festival hosted such headliners as Stevie Wonder and Carlos Santana, Liquid Soul and Brazzaville, "Turetsky Choir", Sergey Zhilin, etc. The entry was free of charge invitation-only, which were distributed through public and charity foundations.[59]


Yelena Baturina is the founder of the charity foundation "Noosphere" designed to support education and to promote tolerance in society. It provides training courses, information and leisure centers, grant and scholarship programs. The “Noosphere" foundation is the initiator and one of the main organizers of the educational festival "Team of Tolerance" in Moscow.[60]

"Let’s build a home all together"[edit]

Yelena Baturina initiated a charity project called "Revival of Russian tradition of collective house construction". This project was to bring together business organizations, individuals and administrative workers in various regions of Russia in order to address the housing needs of people in dire need of better housing conditions.[61]

Be Open Future Fund[edit]

In 2012, Yelena Baturina founded the Be Open Fund, a "creative think-tank" aimed "to encourage creativity and innovation among young designers and artists and to build bridges between Russia and the rest of the world".[62] Her visionary concept found embodiment in the BE OPEN foundation, whose commitment is to become a bridge between the great minds of our time – philosophers, sociologists, designers, architects, artists, publishers, writers, businessmen and opinion leaders — and the promising new minds of the next generation. Yelena Baturina: “We launched Be Open against a background of worldwide economic and political turmoil, a time when there is a crucial need for long-term regenerative thinking, innovative ideas. It is at times like these that society historically turns to the creative community for solutions. And that is what we are doing with Be Open. By travelling the world, the project will reach out to local audiences globally. Alongside the conferences, we are also staging competitions, exhibitions, master classes, cultural and art events, all conceived to help identify original thinking and bring it to fruition”.[63] BE OPEN is Baturina’s brainchild, a scheme to support innovation and creativity and the result of intensive work during the past few years to develop the initial idea to launch point. A long-term, international, multidisciplinary, multi-faceted project, BE OPEN will allow leading contemporary thinkers and creatives to meet up with those in the media and business, discuss their ideas and visions and ultimately make change happen.[64]

Hobbies and Interests[edit]

Equestrian sport[edit]

Baturina became interested in horse riding after she received a horse as a birthday present.[65] In one of the interviews Yelena Baturina remembered: "It happened so that I just sat in the saddle and rode". Even Baturina's critics have always admitted that she invested a lot of money into equestrian sport in Russia. Baturina keeps horses with disabilities in her personal stable and provides them with decent living.[66] However, horses are not just a hobby for Baturina, but also a business. She owns "Veedern" horse breeding estate founded in the 18th century. After a major reconstruction the estate is now successfully breeding Hanoverian and Trakehner horses.[66] Yelena Baturina frequently says: "You should put a man on a horse to see how he will behave in a team: will he become a leader or not, will he be a dictator or is he ready to compromise. Generally it is easier for men to handle horses. They have a strong hand and they can easily stop the animal. For example, Luzhkov can handle any horse".[65]

Mountain skiing[edit]

Yelena Baturina once said in an interview that she has been skiing for about 20 years. According to her, the family prefers to ski in Tyrol, Austria. This passion was the main reason for setting up the first hotel of Baturina's chain (Grand Tirolia) in Tyrol.[67]

Collection of Russian porcelain[edit]

In an interview to the Dozhd TV channel Yelena Baturina claimed that she owns one of the largest private collections of Russian Imperial porcelain. She prefers porcelain of the times of Nicholay I.[68] In April 2011, Yelena Baturina donated about 40 pieces of art - a part of her collection of rare porcelain - to the "Tsaritsyno" museum in Moscow. The exhibition was devoted to the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 between Russia and Napoleon's France.[69]

Yelena Baturina is also fond of golf which she plays together with her husband,[70] and collects photos from the countries she visits.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Russia's richest woman denies buying 90-room London mansion". YouTube. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Elena Baturina". Forbes. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  3. ^ [1] Vedomosti
  4. ^ [2] Sobesednik
  5. ^ [3] Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov sacked by President Medvedev
  6. ^ [4] Former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov: 'I fear for my family'
  7. ^ [5] Sunday Times apologises to Russia's richest woman over mansion story
  8. ^ [6] Interview with Marianna Maksimovskaya for “Ogonek” magazine
  9. ^ [7] Origin from plastic mass. Svoboda
  10. ^ a b [8] ZAO "Inteco". Overview 06.09.2011
  11. ^ [9] Inteco
  12. ^ [10]"Inteco" will spend USD 500 mln on cement. 15.12.2006
  13. ^ [11] "Inteco" does not want to depend on price policy of cement suppliers
  14. ^ [12] The rock of Inteco has been defined. 07.09.2011
  15. ^ [13] Inteco cooperates with Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill. 29.07.2009
  16. ^ [14] New page in the MSU development history has been opened. 28.01.2010
  17. ^ [15] ZAO "Inteco". Overview. 06.09.2011
  18. ^ [16] Baturina sold her bank to foreigners. 10.12.2010
  19. ^ [17] ZAO "Inteco". 07.09.2011
  20. ^ [18] Russian records. Kommersant Vlast 17.10.2011
  21. ^ [19] Baturina sold Inteco. 06.09.2011
  22. ^ [20] Baturina sold Verkhebakanskiy cement plant to Lev Kvetnoy
  23. ^ [21] Kitzbühel und die "Snowciety" aus Osteuropa 18.02.2010
  24. ^ [22] Das Grand Tirolia Golf & Ski Resort bleibt bis 2014 Partner des Laureus Medien Preises. 22.06.2011
  25. ^ [23] Inteco company opened a 4-star hotel in Peterhof. 28.06.2010
  26. ^ [24] Quisisana Palace
  27. ^ [25] Quisisana Palace
  28. ^ [26] Morrison to reopen in February as a Hilton DoubleTree. 04.01.2013
  29. ^ [27] Moscow Property Tycoon Rebuilds in Exile After Husband’s Ouster.27.04.2012
  30. ^ Russia’s richest woman asks for state bailout[dead link]
  31. ^ "Elena Baturina, The World's Richest People". Forbes. 13 February 2006. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  32. ^ a b "Russia's 100 Richest 2004',". Forbes. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  33. ^ "Russia's richest woman appeals for state bailout". 
  34. ^ "Austrian company buys Morrison Hotel". Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  35. ^ a b [28] Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Forbes" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  36. ^ [29]
  37. ^ [30]
  38. ^ [31]
  39. ^ a b [32] Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Sobesednik" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  40. ^ [33]
  41. ^ [34]
  42. ^ [35]
  43. ^ [36]
  44. ^ [37]
  45. ^ [38]
  46. ^ [39]
  47. ^ [40]
  48. ^ Tycoon sues billionaire little sister for £120m Archived 12 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  49. ^ a b Finn, Peter (16 January 2006). "Washington Post article". Washington Post article. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  50. ^ Kommersant photo archive
  51. ^ Osborn, Andrew (7 November 2010). "Former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov: 'I fear for my family'". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  52. ^
  53. ^ [41]
  54. ^ [42]
  55. ^ [43] RIA Novosti Real Estate - Inteco has built a nursery school in Tula to support the Tula region
  56. ^ [44] Inteco Russian Open Golf Championship 2008
  57. ^ [45] Yelena Baturina,
  58. ^ [46] Equestrian Russia at the turn of the third millennium, the magazine "Horse Breeding and Equestrian Sport"
  59. ^ a b [47] Cultural metamorphosis of the "mysterious Russian soul", Izvestia
  60. ^ [48] Yelena Baturina’s “Noosphere" charity foundation fights against adolescent suicide through theater – Interfax
  61. ^ [49] Let’s do good all together - "Moskovsky Komsomolets"
  62. ^ [50]
  63. ^ [51]
  64. ^ [52]
  65. ^ a b [53] Yelena Baturina breeds horses - Arguments and Facts, Moscow
  66. ^ a b [54] Baturina Yelena,
  67. ^ [55] Interview to the “Sobesednik” newspaper
  68. ^ [56] Dozhd TV channel
  69. ^ [57]
  70. ^ [58] "I have always dreamt of being an analyst", Vedomosti

External links[edit]