Brain food: How he made his pile - Roman Abramovich, Oil baron and owner of Chelsea FC

Who is he?

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Britain's richest man, since he moved here from Russia in 2003.

How did he earn his millions?

The shy 37-year-old made £7.5 billion through oil trading in western Siberia, and Sibneft, Russia's fastest-growing energy business, valued at £8.8 billion. He capitalised on the confusion about free-market principles to build up a stake in former state enterprises, allegedly buying up government-allocated share vouchers and exploiting Yeltsin's 'Loans for Shares' scheme.

What's the secret of his success?

Opportunism: the post-perestroika privatisation of Soviet state assets made Abramovich a billionaire. 'It was just a question of timely investment and share consolidation,' claims his PR.

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