Early Life and Career Beginnings
Farkhad Akhmedov was born on September 15, 1955, in Baku. His early life was marked by tragedy when, at the age of 15, his father was found guilty of embezzlement and sentenced to death by firing squad. Following this, Akhmedov moved with his family to Moscow, where he completed his schooling.
In 1975-1977, he served in the Soviet army, after which he pursued higher education at the Moscow Veterinary Academy. Later, he furthered his studies at the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, obtaining a postgraduate degree.
Entry into Business and the Energy Sector
In 1986, Farkhad Teimurovich Akhmedov made a significant move to the United Kingdom and entered the oil trading business. Rumours suggest that his initial wealth did not come from oil but rather from trading fur on the London Stock Exchange, later transitioning to the energy sector. He founded Tansley Trading, a company that supplied equipment to Russian enterprises, including Gazprom.
During the mid-90s, Akhmedov acquired a share in the Northgas company, a joint venture between Russian Gazprom and American Bechtel Energy, aimed at developing deposits in the Yamal-Nenets region.
Brief details of Tansley Trading
Tansley Trading was founded by Farkhad Akhmedov in 1987. The company specialized in the supply of equipment for the oil and gas industry of the USSR and also traded in oil and oil products. It sourced and supplied equipment to gas production companies, and Akhmedov later became a minority shareholder in Nortgas, one of the companies he was supplying equipment to. Nortgas was known as the most efficient natural gas company in Russia during the time that Akhmedov was in charge of it.
Farkhad Akhmedov, a big player in Russia, is worth around $1.4 billion. Back in 2019, he snagged the 67th spot on Russia’s richest people list, as per Forbes.
Most of his wealth comes from smart moves in the Russian oil and gas scene. He’s a key figure in these industries, making banks through various business ventures.
But what really got people talking was his headline-grabbing divorce from Tatiana Akhmedova. The whole thing put a spotlight on his money matters, revealing the ins and outs of his business world. The divorce settlement, which was no small change, added an extra layer of intrigue to Farkhad Akhmedov‘s already high-profile life.
|Net Worth (in billions)
In 1999, Farkhad Akhmedov faced legal challenges and dilution from Gazprom’s shares in Northgas after issuing additional shares. This led to prolonged lawsuits, resulting in Akhmedov retaining 49% of Northgas shares, with the controlling stake going to Gazprom. Ultimately, he sold his shares to Russia’s Novatek for $1.375 billion, transitioning from an oil and gas trader to a private investor.
In a leaked audio recording, Farkhad Akhmedov lamented the challenges he faced, including alleged business losses and sanctions, saying that his wealth largely came from investments in Russian state companies.
Details of the Controversy
- Akhmedov agreed to give Gazprom 51% of his shares in Northgas.
- This exchange was to prevent the loss of his gas production license.
- Conflict arose between Akhmedov’s company, REDI, and Gazprom.
- The main issues were gas prices and access to gas transportation systems.
Sale to Novatek: (2009)
- Farkhad Akhmedov sold his remaining 49% stake in Northgas to Novatek for $1.375 billion.
- Gazprom’s refusal to meet shareholder agreement conditions triggered the sale.
Accusations and Billing: (2009)
- Akhmedov accused Gazprom of violating shareholder agreement conditions.
- He presented Gazprom with a bill for his shares.
Political Proposal: (2012)
- Gazprom and the Federation Council proposed Akhmedov as a representative for the Nenets region.
- Years of legal disputes followed.
- Akhmedov was left with 49% of Northgas shares, while Gazprom took a controlling stake.
Controversy Resolved Over Discovery of Stalin-Era Azerbaijani Poet’s Remains
The reported discovery of poet Mikayil Mushfig’s remains sparked a dispute involving the government, Azerbaijani-Russian oligarch Farkhad Akhmedov, and a journalist. President Ilham Aliyev took charge of the investigation. Akhmedov, on an expedition for his father’s remains, claimed to have found Mushfig in the Garadag region. The Ministry of Culture disputed the findings, but Akhmedov insisted he had informed them years ago. Aliyev, leading a working group, planned a DNA analysis. The incident marked Aliyev’s second involvement with the poet’s legacy, raising skepticism among Azerbaijan’s independent intelligence.
Political Career and High Treason Accusations
Parallel to his business endeavours, Farkhad Akhmedov engaged in politics. From 2004 to 2009, he served as a senator, representing the Krasnodar and Nenets region. Questions surround his political appointments, with ties to Gazprom and friendship with regional governors and state corporations playing a role.
Akhmedov faced suspicions of high treason in Azerbaijan in 2022. Investments in Azerbaijani projects, including agriculture, hospitality, and medicine, led to allegations of favouring Russian interests. He invested over $200 million in Azerbaijan by 2020.
The Controversial Dostluq Order and Suspicions of Pro-Russian Activities
Novaya Gazeta Europe reported in November 2022 that Farkhad Akhmedov, an Azerbaijani-born businessman, faced suspicion of committing high treason in favour of Russia.
Akhmedov was a former representative of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation and served as an international observer during elections, including Azerbaijani ones. His official biography states that while he was a senator and member of the Committee on Judicial and Legal Issues, he “helped develop and approve a series of legal acts.” However, it does not specify which ones.
High-Profile Divorce and Legal Battles
Akhmedov’s personal life garnered attention for a high-profile and protracted divorce with his second wife, Tatyana Akhmedova. The divorce proceedings spanned 21 years and became one of the most expensive in UK history. Legal battles have involved disputes over substantial assets, including a 115-meter yacht, art objects and real estate.
Despite court orders to pay significant compensation, Farkhad Akhmedov resisted, leading to asset seizures and legal complications. The divorce saga concluded in 2021 with Akhmedov paying £150 million in cash and art to his ex-wife, retaining ownership of the yacht.
Details of Divorce
After a five-year legal battle, one of the largest English divorce cases finally concluded with a settlement between Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov and his ex-wife, Tatiana Akhmedova. The divorce settlement, reported to be £150 million, marked the end of a highly publicized case that involved extensive multi-jurisdictional asset tracing and garnered attention for its staggering £453 million award.
The couple, who met in 1989 and moved to London four years later, saw their marriage dissolve amid disputes over the date of their separation. Tatiana Akhmedova argued that the marriage broke down in October 2013, while Farkhad Akhmedov insisted it ended in 1999 or 2004. The English Court ruled in favour of Mrs Akhmedova.
In 2016, Mrs Akhmedova was awarded £453,576,152 (41.5% of the total marital assets in a High Court hearing. Mr Akhmedov, in breach of court orders, did not appear at the hearing. Subsequent legal actions included a Financial Remedy Order and a worldwide Freezing Order over his assets.
The enforcement phase saw Mrs Akhmedova pursuing relief against various third parties, including her eldest son, Temur Akhmedov. Earlier this year, the English High Court granted relief, stating that Mrs Akhmedova had been a victim of schemes designed to hide Mr Akhmedov’s wealth.
Despite facing challenges in enforcing judgments, reports confirmed a settlement between the parties, with Mr Akhmedov offering £150 million. The High Court has yet to approve the deal.
The involvement of law firm Brown Rudnick in obtaining search and imaging orders over Temur Akhmedov’s premises and electronic devices underscored the complexity of the case. Legal proceedings navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting litigation strategies to comply with safety measures.
Sanctions and Leaked Audio Controversy
Akhmedov’s financial activities and alleged connections to Putin’s circle attracted sanctions. In April 2022, the European Union, the UK, Canada, Ukraine, and Switzerland imposed sanctions, freezing accounts and seizing his yacht. The sanctions were justified by Akhmedov’s association with sectors generating income for the Russian government.
Akhmedov expressed frustration over the sanctions in a leaked audio recording, stating the impact on his business activities and international transactions. The audio also criticised Putin and his entourage, causing further controversy.
Sanction details (Farkhad Akhmedov)
He founded Tansley Trading, which supplied equipment to Russian gas producers, and later became a minority shareholder in Nortgas, a Siberian oil and gas company, as well as the chairman of Bechtel Energy’s board of directors. He is close to the Kremlin and a prominent businessman who works in sectors of the economy that generate significant revenue for the Russian Federation’s government.
|Place of Sanction
As for the latest available information, Farkhad Akhmedov remains a prominent figure in the business world, navigating through legal challenges and geopolitical controversies. His wealth is estimated at $1.7 billion, and his standing as the 49th richest Russian billionaire suggests a continued presence in global economic circles.
Farkhad Akhmedov, born in 1955, began his career in the Soviet army and later ventured into the oil and gas industry. After founding Tansley Trading in 1987, specializing in oil and gas equipment, he became a key player in Russia’s energy sector. Legal battles and controversies have marked his career, including disputes with Gazprom over Northgas shares and a protracted, high-profile divorce.
Despite accruing wealth from oil and gas ventures, sanctions were imposed on Akhmedov in 2022 due to alleged ties to Putin’s circle. A leaked audio recording revealed his frustration with sanctions and criticism of Putin. Facing accusations of high treason in Azerbaijan, his political career and business dealings intertwine. As of 2023, Farkhad Akhmedov‘s net worth is $1.7 billion, indicating his continued prominence in global economic spheres.