Childhood and Youth
Alexander Svetakov was born on February 15, 1968, in Moscow, to a family facing financial challenges due to his father’s illness. Despite the hardships, Svetakov admired his father, a lawyer with dual degrees in the legal and economic fields. After completing his schooling, he joined the army and later pursued a degree in systems engineering, graduating from MIEM in 1988.
Early Business Ventures
Alexander Svetakov‘s entry into business began with part-time work as a stagehand at the Central House of Artists while studying. In the late 80s and early 90s, he ventured into trading, focusing on the import and sale of electrical mechanical devices and electronics. His first significant business move was forming the Absolut LLP organization in 1990, specializing in the import of goods from abroad.
Absolut Bank and Oligarch Status
In 1993, Svetakov and his associates established Absolut Bank to facilitate their growing business empire. The 1998 financial crisis initially impacted Absolut Bank, but under Svetakov’s leadership, it rebounded and became one of the top 100 banks in Russia. In 2007, Svetakov orchestrated a landmark deal, selling Absolut Bank to the Belgian investment company KBC for $925 million, marking it as the “deal of the century.”
Sale of Absolut Bank
In 2007, he set a record in Russia’s banking sector by selling Absolut Bank for almost $1 billion. After the sale, he turned his attention to property development and broadened Absolut Group’s investments in real estate, gold and coal mining, seaports, food production, metals, asset management, and insurance.
Timeline of the Career of Alexander Svetakov
|Alexander Svetakov was born on February 15 in Moscow, Russia. Faced financial challenges due to his father’s illness.
|Graduated from MIEM with a degree in systems engineering.
|Late 80s – Early 90s
|Ventured into trading, focusing on the import and sale of electrical mechanical devices and electronics. Formed Absolut LLP in 1990.
|Established Absolut Bank with associates.
|Absolut Bank faced the initial impact of the financial crisis but rebounded under Svetakov’s leadership.
|Orchestrated the sale of Absolut Bank to the Belgian investment company KBC for $925 million.
|Set a record in Russia’s banking sector by selling Absolut Bank for almost $1 billion.
|Diversified investments, becoming the owner of the Absolute organization. Invested in construction, agriculture, and industry.
|Established the Absolut-Help Foundation, focusing on supporting orphans, hospitals, and people with disabilities.
|Invested in various sectors, including real estate, gold and coal mining, seaports, food production, metals, asset management, and insurance.
|Engaged in philanthropy, supporting projects like a shelter for domestic animals and the construction of a boarding school in 2014.
|Attributed success to key business strategies, including investing in young companies, offering private banking services, engaging in the insurance business, and undertaking large-scale projects.
|Forbes ranked Svetakov among the richest Russians due to wealth primarily derived from the financial services and investments of Absolut Group of Companies LLC.
Brief about Absolut bank
Since its establishment in 1993, Absolut Bank has been a key player in the Russian banking scene. With a nationwide presence, the bank has solidified its position among the top 25 in terms of assets, boasting a team of over 3,500 dedicated employees.
Providing a broad spectrum of financial services, Absolut Bank caters to diverse needs. From traditional offerings like lending and deposits to modern conveniences such as online and mobile banking, the bank ensures a comprehensive suite of services. This commitment reflects Absolut Bank’s dedication to staying ahead of the curve and meeting the ever-changing demands of its customers.
Diversification and Absolute Organization
After the sale of Absolut Bank, Alexander Svetakov diversified his investments, becoming the owner of the Absolute organization. This entity delved into various sectors, including construction, agriculture, and industry. Significant investments were directed towards the construction of residential complexes in Moscow and the Moscow region.
Alexander Svetakov demonstrated his commitment to social responsibility by establishing the Absolut-Help Foundation in 2002. The foundation focuses on supporting orphanages, hospitals, and people with disabilities. Notable projects include a shelter for domestic animals and the construction of a boarding school in 2014.
What is the Absolut-Help Foundation?
The Absolut-Help Foundation was founded in 2002 by Alexander Svetakov to support orphans, children with disabilities, and those with serious illnesses.
The foundation has been involved in charitable activities aimed at helping these vulnerable groups.
Business Strategies and Wealth Accumulation
Svetakov attributed his success to four key business strategies, including investing in young companies, offering private banking services, engaging in the insurance business, and undertaking large-scale projects. His wealth, primarily derived from the financial services and investments of Absolut Group of Companies LLC, saw significant growth, with Forbes ranking him among the richest Russians.
Alexander Svetakov’s Net Worth
|Net Worth (in Billions)
Alexander Svetakov is married to Julia, whom he met in the 90s. The couple have four sons. He prioritizes spending quality time with his children during summer vacations.
Leisure and Interests
Outside the business realm, Svetakov indulges in various hobbies, such as tennis, volleyball, freeride, and travelling. He has a keen interest in music, particularly jazz, and collects rare items for home furnishings.
Casino Acquisition and Sports Sponsorship
In the early 2000s, Alexander Svetakov acquired the Moscow Mirage casino, expanding his business ventures into the gambling industry. Additionally, he actively sponsored Russian tennis and volleyball, contributing substantial funds to championships.
Current Ventures and Future Plans
As of now, Alexander Svetakov holds the title of “king of Russian real estate” and ranks prominently on Forbes’ list of wealthiest Russians. His business empire continues to thrive, with a focus on real estate development and a significant investment plan for foreign real estate, particularly in the USA and Great Britain.
Charitable Initiatives and Recent Projects
Svetakov’s commitment to philanthropy persists, with ongoing projects through the Absolut-Help Foundation, including an inclusive school for children with different abilities. His most recent venture, Mafin, showcases his engagement with innovative projects, demonstrating a commitment to both business and societal well-being.
In summary, Alexander Svetakov’s life is a testament to entrepreneurial success, strategic investments, and a strong dedication to philanthropy, marking him as a prominent figure in Russia’s business landscape.
Allegations Surrounding Absolut Group and Alexander Svetakov
The indictment of developer Mikhail Ogloblin, associated with the construction of the elite residential complex Skolkovo Residence, brought attention to the potential involvement of businessman Alexander Svetakov, the head of Absolute Group LLC. Ogloblin, son of the construction adviser to the governor of the Moscow Region, Marina Ogloblina, faces serious charges of embezzling dividends exceeding 200 million rubles during the Skolkovo Residence project.
Ogloblin’s legal troubles began in 2017 when he was convicted of illegal migration and tax evasion. The current fraud charges add another layer to his complicated legal history, making his chances for leniency dim. The case centres on the alleged misappropriation of construction funds, with Absolute Group’s dividends at the centre of the controversy.
Despite the legal turmoil surrounding Ogloblin, Absolute Group, led by Alexander Svetakov, has successfully maintained its business operations. The allegations suggest that Svetakov may have played a role in pressuring Ogloblin to settle a 400 million ruble debt, a claim that has yet to be confirmed but raises questions about the motivations behind Ogloblin’s legal action.
Is Alexander Svetakov escaping the situation?
Rumours suggest that Svetakov, who has powerful connections, is attempting to deflect suspicion and distance himself from the financial dispute. The intricate web of relationships within the Moscow business community complicates matters further, as Svetakov is thought to have connections to prominent figures such as Maxim Vorobyov, the governor of the Moscow Region’s brother.
The Skolkovo Residence project dispute involves not only financial issues but also power struggles and disagreements among key players in the Moscow business landscape. The origins of the conflict between Svetakov and Ogloblin are unknown, raising questions about their alleged feud’s motivations.
Furthermore, recent financial difficulties at Absolut Bank, which Svetakov controls, have fueled speculation. The bank’s negative credit rating from Moody’s and a significant drop in individual deposits have raised concerns about the institution’s stability. The possibility of funds being transferred to foreign accounts complicates the current situation even further.
Despite these obstacles, Svetakov’s business ventures continue to thrive, with Absolut Group emerging as the capital’s largest developer. The ability of high-profile businessmen to navigate controversies and maintain business momentum is highlighted, leaving observers to wonder if such success comes at the expense of business partners.
The developments involving Absolut Group and Alexander Svetakov highlight the complexities of Moscow’s business landscape as well as the challenges that developers face in a complex and competitive environment. The business community is closely watching the legal proceedings to understand the implications for both the accused and the broader industry.
Are there any sanctions imposed on Alexander Svetakov?
Alexander Svetakov, the founder of Absolut Bank and Absolut Group, has not been sanctioned by any country or international organization.
Alexander Svetakov, born in 1968 in Moscow, overcame financial challenges in his youth and embarked on a diverse entrepreneurial journey. After graduating in systems engineering in 1988, he entered trading, eventually establishing Absolut Bank in 1993. Despite facing the 1998 financial crisis, Svetakov led the bank to success, culminating in a $925 million sale to KBC in 2007.
Post-sale, he diversified investments, notably in real estate, mining, and philanthropy through the Absolut-Help Foundation. His wealth, tied to the Absolut Group, earned him Forbes’ recognition among Russia’s richest. Svetakov’s business strategies included investing in young companies and engaging in insurance. Noteworthy is his Moscow Mirage casino acquisition, sports sponsorships, and current focus on global real estate ventures, particularly in the USA and Great Britain. As of the latest available information, no sanctions have been imposed on Alexander Svetakov.