Vagit Alekperov
Billionaire Russian Oligarch

Vagit Alekperov is a Russian oil tycoon and a self-made billionaire. He currently serves as the president of LUKOIL, which is a leading Russian oil company. According to Forbes, Alekperov is the 5th richest person in Russia and the 55th richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $14.8 billion. 

vagit alekperof

Alekperov was born in September 1, 1950 in Azerbaijan, Russia. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the Azerbaijan Oil and Chemistry Institute in 1974. Today, he is the President of a top Russian oil company, LUKOIL.  He also serves as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Basic Element Company.

Business Career

While still a student at Azerbaijan Oil and Chemistry Institute, Alekperov worked at Kaspmorneft as a drilling operator. He continued to work there even after graduating and in 1979, he was made deputy head of a production unit. In the same year, he relocated to Western Siberia to work at Surgutneftegaz, where he worked till 1985. It is in this company that Alekperov earned his reputation as an industry expert. He ascended positions and became the first deputy general director of Bashneft Production Company. Two years later, he became the general director of Kogalymneftegaz. 

In 1992, Alekperov became the youngest deputy energy minister in Soviet history, when he assumed the position of deputy minister of the Oil and Gas Industry of the Soviet Union. While assuming this position, he was involved in the development of Langepas-Uray-Kogalymneft, the first vertically integrated state-owned energy company. The company was established in 1991 and in April 1993, it became LUKoil Oil Company. Alekperov assumed the role of president of LUkoil, a position he maintains to date. 

vagit alekperof

LUKoil now employs over 100,000 people, and it is one of the most powerful oil companies in the world. Its reserves are only 2nd to Exxon, and it became the first company in Russia to acquire an American company. In 2000, it managed to acquire an American company known as Getty Petroleum. LUKoil acquired the company together with its 1,300 gas stations. 

Other Interests

Like various other Russian tycoons, this oil magnate has shown interest in the media and banking industries. Reports by the British Daily Mail indicated on May 2007 that Alekperov had shown interest in purchasing Tottenham Hotspur FC. 

vagit alekperof

Personal Life

Alekperov is married with one child. His wife’s name is Larisa Victorovna Alekperova, while his son’s name is Yusuf, who was born in 1983. In 2013, Alekperov willed his stake in LUKoil (about 21%) to his son, with the stipulation that Yusuf won’t have the right to sell the stake so that the Alekperov family will remain the majority shareholder of the company.

Interesting Facts about Alekperov

  1. Alekperov was a good student at school, but he wasn’t a fun loving guy. 
  2. In 1974, he survived an explosion that threw him into the Caspian Sea. Shaken and weary, Alekperov had to swim for his life. (NB – This isn’t interesting, but it’s worth mentioning).
  3. He shares his birthday (September 1) with Dr Phil McGraw. In fact, Alekperov and Dr Phil were born on the same day (Sep 1, 1950). Other world-renown personalities born in the same year include Billionaire Sir Richard Branson, Stevie Wonder and Deniece Williams (Singer-songwriter who recorded the soul classic "Free" in 1976).

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References:

Forbes (The ultimate site for billionaire rankings)

CelebrityNetWorth (The ultimate site for net worth of celebrities)

TheRichest (Great site for things about money and rich people)

Wikipedia (Greatest site on earth for lots of information)