Rinat Akhmetov is a Ukrainian businessman with an estimated net worth of $15.4 billion. On March 2013, Forbes listed him as the richest person in Ukraine. This self-made billionaire serves as the President of System Capital Management (SCM), a leading financial and industrial firm he founded in 2000. He also serves as the President of Shakhtar Donetsk, which is a Ukrainian football club.
Rinat Akhmetov was born on 21st September, 1966 in Donetsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. He attended the Donetsk National University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts/Science in Economics in 2001. Some reports have cited that this billionaire acquired his wealth through his ties to organized crime.
Akhmetov has denied these claims stating that he made his million by trading coke and coal, spending the proceeds on assets that no one was interested in buying. In various interviews conducted in the past, Akhmetov has further stated that he acquired his fortune making risky business investments in the first few years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In the early 90s, Akhmetov started purchasing property in Donetsk, allegedly by means of extortion. Towards the end of 1995, the president of Shakhtar Donetsk named Bragin was assassinated at the team’s stadium during a match. After the unfortunate incident, Akhmetov reportedly inherited a massive financial empire from Bragin. In the same year (1995), Akhmetov also became the head of Akceptbank (later known as Dongorbank).
In 2000, Akhmetov established Systems Capital Management Group, and since 2009 he has remained its sole proprietor. Under his leadership, SCM has grown to become one of the leading financial and industrial firms in Ukraine. The firm has assets that include more than 100 businesses in mining and metals, banking and insurance, media and real estate, telecommunications and power generation.
The firm has revenues of around $13 billion and has assets worth over $23 billion. METINVEST, a mining and steel business is the largest company in the SCM Group, and it is purportedly the largest private business in Ukraine, and one Europe’s largest steel businesses.
In the course of his business career, Akhmetov has received various awards, including Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise of the V class in 2010, award from President of Pakistan Sitara-e-Pakistan in 2007, and Donetsk Citizens Recognition Prize in 2008, among others awards and recognitions.
Akhmetov is also actively involved with charities that support Ukrainian citizens, and has for a number of occasions been named the top businessmen-philanthropist in Ukraine. The billionaire is married to Liliya Smirnova, with whom he has two sons Darmir (born in 1988) and Almir (born in 1997).