|Birth Day||April 14, 1957|
|Birth Place||Moscow, Russia, Russia|
|Age||63 YEARS OLD|
|Citizenship||Ukraine Russia Cyprus|
|Alma mater||Moscow Transportation Engineering Institute|
|Occupation||Owner of Renova Group|
|Awards||Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" (4th class) Order of Alexander Nevsky|
Victor Vekselberg was born in 1957 to a Ukrainian Jewish Father and a Russian mother in Drohobych, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (although some reports state that he was born in Lviv). In 1979, he graduated from the Moscow Transportation Engineering Institute. Thereafter, he worked as an Engineer and research manager at a state-owned pump manufacturer.
In 1988, after the Gorbachev administration relaxed restrictions on private Business as part of his new policy Perestroika and Glasnost, he founded NPO Komvek which did work for the Irkutsk Aluminum Plant and in 1990, he co-founded Renova Group with college classmate, Leonard Blavatnik. KomVek owned 67% of Renova and Blavatnik’s company Access Industries owned the remainder. He benefited financially from the privatization of the aluminum industry in Russia under the Yeltsin administration in 1993. In 1996, he co-founded the Siberian-Urals Aluminium Company (SUAL) via a merger of the Ural and Irkutsk Aluminum Plants. (SUAL would later be incorporated into United Company RUSAL, the largest aluminum company in the world). Using revenues generated from his aluminum Business, he purchased a minority interest in Tyumen Oil (TNK), one of Russia's largest oil and gas companies. In 1997, he secured a controlling interest in Tyumen and was appointed to the Board of Directors; in 1998, he was appointed Chairman of the Board. Later, he integrated those and other assets under the umbrella of Renova Group, delegating operating responsibilities to managers.
In 2003, the Renova Group, along with Access Industries (owned by Leonard Blavatnik) and the Alfa Group (owned by Mikhail Fridman, German Khan, and Alexei Kuzmichov) announced the creation of a strategic partnership to jointly hold their oil assets in Russia and Ukraine, forming the AAR consortium. In the same year, they merged AAR with British Petroleum's Russian oil assets in a 50-50 joint venture named TNK-BP, the largest private transaction in Russian history. Acting as a chairman of the executive board of TNK, Vekselberg was instrumental in negotiating and closing the transaction.
Vekselberg had paid £1.7 million at a Christie's auction in 2005 for Odalisque, a nude said to be the work of Russian Artist Boris Kustodiev. However, soon after the purchase, experts working for Vekselberg's art fund, Aurora, began to cast doubt on the picture's authenticity. They claimed that Kustodiev's signature, dated 1919, was done in aluminium-based pigment not available until after the artist's death in 1927. Vekselberg sued Christie's, and the judge ruled in July 2012 that he was entitled to recover the £1.7 million that he paid for the painting, plus Christie's was ordered to pay around £1 million in costs.
In September 2006, Vekselberg agreed to pay approximately $1 million in expenses to transport the Lowell House Bells from Harvard University in the United States back to their original location in the Danilov Monastery and to purchase replacement bells. The historic bells returned to Moscow on September 12, 2008, with the assistance of the U.S. Director of the organization, Edward Mermelstein.
In February 2004, Vekselberg purchased nine Fabergé Imperial Easter eggs from the Forbes publishing family in New York City. The collection was transported to Russia and exhibited in the Kremlin and in Dubrovnik in 2007. Vekselberg is the single largest owner of Fabergé eggs in the world, owning fifteen of them (nine Imperial, two Kelch, and four other Fabergé eggs). In a 2013 BBC Four documentary, Vekselberg revealed that he had spent just over $100 million purchasing the nine Fabergé Imperial eggs from the Forbes collection. He claims never to have displayed them in his home, saying he bought them because they are important to Russian history and culture, and he believed them to be the best jewelry art in the world. In the same BBC documentary, Vekselberg revealed plans to open a museum to display the eggs in his collection. The result was the Fabergé Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, which had its official opening ceremony on November 19, 2013.