Last month, Business Insider published a list of the richest people on earth. Ukraine-born American investor Leonard Blavatnik came in at No. 42 with a net worth of $16.7 billion.
The self-made billionaire’s wealth has ballooned in recent years thanks to his privately held industrial group, Access Industries, which has major global investments in chemicals, real estate, and entertainment.
Here’s a look at how Blavatnik became one of the world’s most vaunted dealmakers.
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Blavatnik attended Moscow University of Railway Engineering until his family immigrated to the US in 1978 — he gained citizenship in 1984.
He went on to earn his masters degree in computer science at Columbia University and his MBA at Harvard Business School. He has remained loyal to his alma mater, donating $50 million to Harvard in 2013 to sponsor life sciences entrepreneurship.
In 1986, Blavatnik founded Access Industries, a privately held industrial company. Initially, AI was involved in Russian investments but has since diversified its portfolio. AI now invests natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, technology and e-commerce, and real estate.