Lev Leviev Net Worth $1.5 Billion
Lev Leviev is an Israeli born investor, businessman and philanthropist. Born in Uzbek SSR in 1956 to Bukhari Jewish parents, Leviev and his family moved to Israel in 1971 where he worked as an apprentice in a diamond polishing plant. While there, he learnt the 11 steps in the diamond cutting process and after serving his mandatory duty in the Israeli Defense Forces established his own diamond polishing plant.
At the end of The Cold War, he ventured his business into Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. His current business interests include investments in the diamond industry, real estate and chemicals. He attempted to establish a private prison in Israel but the Israeli courts determined them unconstitutional in the state of Israel.
Leviev is the controlling shareholder of Africa-Israel where he had purchased 60% in 1996 for $400 million and is facing insolvency. In an attempt to save it, debt restructuring efforts have been put in place. He is an international residential real estate investor and has also invested in shopping malls, energy, fashion, media and telecommunications that in total attained a total market value of $8 billion in 2007. He owns diamond mines in Africa and Russia and is a major competitor to DeBeers international.
Through the Danya Cebus Company, which is a subsidiary of Africa-Israel, Leviev is involved in the construction of Israeli settlements in The West Bank. His activities in this area have drawn controversy and even UNICEF has made it clear that they won’t engage with him because of this. As a philanthropist, he is a supporter of Jewish causes and is also the president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS, a body representing Jewish communities in The Soviet region. He is also the president of the World Congress of Bukharian Jews. His net worth is placed at $1.5 billion.