Many people know Len Blavatnik as Britain's wealthiest man. Born on 14th July 1957, he is currently worth about $20.1 billion after purchasing Warner Music Group through his privately industrial group Access Industries in 2011 for $3.3 billion. Investing in the tech giants Beats and Spotify propelled him to the number one spot. He rose from number four on the Sunday Times Rich List. Here are ten things you may just be finding out about the self-made billionaire.
- Even though Len is the wealthiest man in Britain, he was not born in Britain. He was born in Odessa Ukraine to a Jewish family. Len attended Moscow University of Railway Engineering. Before he could complete his coursework, his family requested for emigration visas, and in 1978 they migrated to the US. Len Blavatnik is a family man married to Emily Appleson Blavatnik. Together they have four kids- two girls and two boys.
- He continued his studies in the US at the Columbia University. Here he earned a master’s degree in computer science. He later went to Harvard Business School where he got an MBA. His loyalty to his alma mater saw him donate $50 million in 2013 to Harvard. The funds were to sponsor life science entrepreneurship.
- Blavatnik founded his first company in 1986. It was a privately help industrial company known as Access Industries. At the time, the firm was solely focusing on Russian investments. It has since diversified its portfolio. The company earns its fortunes through three significant sectors, i.e., real estate, natural resources, and media and telecommunications. His company was behind the transformation of Puerto Madero in Argentina’s Bueno Aires. It was a partnership with Faena Group from the year 2000 that saw it rise to be one of the most prized real estate pieces in the country.
- The billionaire has interests in fashion. His company was the largest and the first outside investor to purchase 20% of Tory Burch in 2004. Len also owns the independent film and production company known as Al Film. It is the firm that is behind “Lee Daniels” an acclaimed film and many others.
- Purchasing Warner Music in 2011 made him acquire Rhino, Atlantic, Warner Music Nashville, and Warner Bros, Records. Recently, he also got Parlophone a British music label that manages Two Door Cinema Club and Coldplay.
- London and New York are the two main cities where he spends most of his time. Len’s home in the UK (Kensington Palace Gardens) is currently worth more than $315 million. In New York, he bought Woody Johnson’s (New York Jets Owner) apartment for $75 million.
- The wealthiest man in Britain likes to party. He hosts exclusive luncheons on the Odessa his yacht at Old Port every year during the Cannes Film Festival.
- He runs The Blavatnik Family Foundation which confirms that he is a global and notable philanthropist. The foundation has been generously supporting charitable and cultural institutions for over 25 years. The National Gallery of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Royal Academy of Arts, and Colel Chabad are examples of institutions that benefit from the billionaire’s kindness. The Tel Aviv University recently received a donation of $ 20 million to kick off Blavatnik initiative.
- In 2013, Len’s fortune expanded after he got $50 million from, JPMorgan Chase. It was payment for wrongfully advising Blavatnik which made him lose 10% of an investment where he had injected $1 billion.
- Blavatnik makes significant contributions to the education sector. In addition to making hefty donations, Len also developed New York Academy of Sciences Blavatnik Awards. It provides financial support as well as recognition to the young, enthusiastic scientist as a way of encouraging them to pursue their interests. The awards that are held every year recognize the achievements of young postdoctoral scientists and the faculty at large in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.
The most innovative scientific researchers also earn unrestricted cash prizes that amount to $250,000. The University of Oxford in England received a donation of $117 million to establish BSG (The Blavatnik School of Government). It is the youngest department at the university. The first class had 38 students who are admitted in 2012 to pursue Master in Public Policy Program.
Written by Garrett Parker
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