Roman Abramovich

Name: Roman Abramovich

Age: 37

Estimated wealth: $6 billion

Member of the Group of Seven: no

Current home: Russia & the UK


What others have said about him: “He is a quiet, self-deprecating man, but he loves the game.” (Jonathan Clare, an Abramovich PR adviser, on the oligarch’s purchase of England’s top soccer club, Chelsea)


Roman Abramovich is arguably the sexiest of all the oligarchs, thanks to his designer stubble. Dubbed “the quiet oligarch,” Abramovich may also be the most secretive: until 1999, no picture of him had ever been published in the media. Orphaned at four, Abramovich was, during the 1990s, a business partner of Boris Berezovsky. Abramovich managed to seize a large part of his partner oligarch’s assets when Berezovsky had his falling out with Putin. Since then, Abramovich, who controls the holding company Millhouse Capital, has been deemed close to the Kremlin, and most analysts concluded that he did the Kremlin’s bidding when he called off the merger between his oil company Sibneft and Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Yukos. At the same time, however, he has divested a large portion of his Russian assets, cashing in billions of dollars and spending much of his time in the UK. Abramovich is known for being unpredictable. In 2000, he had himself elected governor of Chukotka, the distant, sparsely-populated region of the Russian Far North which borders Alaska across the Bering Strait. There he spent a few hundred million dollars on local development projects. Then, last year, he bought the English soccer club Chelsea for over $300 million.

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