Leonid Mikhelson is an extremely influential Russian businessman. According to Forbes, the CEO and stakeholder of Novatek, Mikhelson has topped the chart of Russia’s Richest Men. With an estimated wealth of $16.2 billion, Mikhelson has surpassed Vladimir Potanin.
Early Life and Background
Mikhelson was born on 11 August 1955 to a Jewish family in Kaspiysk. Mikhelson started his career just after earning his Civil Engineering Degree from the Samara Institute of Civil Engineering.
Mikhelson has one daughter, whose name is Viktoria Mikhelson. Mikhelson revealed that Viktoria, during her teenage days, was not at all fond of art works. Eventually she started liking art and started helping her father in shifting his collection habits. Her father Leonid Mikhelson named a foundation after Viktoria; it is called the V-A-C foundation. Mikhelson is hopeful that Viktoria, an art history student, will take up the charge of the foundation later on.
Viktoria has left everyone behind in the list of ‘Russia’s richest heirs and heiresses’. This 23-year-old lady had a tough competition for the top spot. Outshining names like Yusuf Alekperov and Alexander Vekselberg, she rose to the top, with an estimated inheritance of $16.2 billion.
Mikhelson’s huge fortune comes from his gas Company Novatek. During his early days, Mikhelson started working on the Urengoi-Chelyabinsk gas pipeline project. He started climbing the stairs of success quite quickly. In 1987, Mikhelson was appointed the General Director of Kuibishevtruboprovodstroy. After the privatization of Kuibishevtruboprovodstroy, it was renamed as NOVA, Mikhelson then served as the Managing Director.
In 1994, Mikhelson laid the foundation of his now billion dollar Company Novatek. The Company was originally called OAO FIK Novafininves, later on it was renamed as OAO NOVATEK. Mikhelson’s Company Novatek is the country’s largest gas producer. He led his company to a great height. Novatek was declared a public company with shares traded on the stock exchanges. Mikhelson owns 25% interest in Novatek and 57.5% interest in Sibur.
Mikhelson’s strategy made the company earn billions.
With his effort, Mikhelson snatched the top stop in the Forbes list of Russia’s Richest Men in 2016.
In investment and business matters, Mikhelson has been seen to partner with Gennady Timchenko. They hold huge shares in Sibur and Novatek. Together they sponsor the Russian Football Union.
The company, Novatek, is one of the largest in Russia which produces natural gas. It is the 7th largest company in the world of natural gas production. Originally known as OAO FIK Novafininvest, it is based in West Siberia and has a sales office in Moscow.
It bought 51% stake in Yamal LNG from Volga Resources, which manages the South-Tambeyskoye field. In the following years, Novatek has acquired many other gas companies and is set to develop a Sabetta port. The project will be jointly executed with the Russian government.