Roman Abramovich

Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich (Russian: Рома́н Арка́дьевич Абрамо́вич, pronounced [rɐˈman ɐrˈkadʲjɪvʲɪtɕ ɐbrɐˈmovʲɪtɕ]; born 24 October 1966)[2] is a Russian-Israeli billionaire businessman, investor and politician.

“Abramovich is the primary owner of the private investment company Millhouse LLC, and is best known outside Russia as the owner of Chelsea F.C., a Premier League football club. He was formerly governor of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug from 2000 to 2008.

“According to Forbes, Abramovich’s net worth was US$12.9 billion in 2019[3] making him the richest person in Israel, 11th-richest in Russia, and the 140th-richest person in the world.[1][4] He has donated more money than any other living Russian, with donations between the years 1999 and 2013 of more than US$2.5 billion to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure in Chukotka.[5]” Wikipedia

Millhouse Capital is a British registered company created in 2001 to manage assets owned by the Russian businessman Roman Abramovich and his partners.

Chairman of the company is Russian-American businessman Eugene Shvidler. Assets under management included major stakes in oil company Sibneft (now Gazprom Neft), Russian Aluminum, Aeroflot Russian Airlines, and RusPromAvto, as well as investments in electricity, pulp and paper processing, insurance and banking.[1]

“Millhouse Capital’s shareholders sold their 26 percent holding in OAO Aeroflot in 2003[2] and a 50 percent stake in OAO Russian Aluminum (UC RUSAL), now the world’s largest aluminum producer, in two deals spanning 2003 and 2004.[3] [4] The sale prices weren’t disclosed.

“In October 2005, Millhouse Capital sold a 72% stake in Sibneft to Gazprom for more than US$13 billion.[5]

“Millhouse Capital was initially based at Abbey House in Weybridge, a large two storey office building on the edge of the St. George’s Hill estate, before moving to Stamford Bridge following Abramovich’s acquisition of Chelsea Football Club in 2003. It had a larger representative office in Moscow.

“In a reorganization following the sale of Sibneft, the Moscow office of Millhouse Capital was closed and a new company, Moscow-based Millhouse LLC, was formed in April 2006 to manage the assets of Abramovich and his partners. The London office of Millhouse Capital was closed in August 2008 and its functions rolled into a new firm, MHC (Services) Ltd.[6]Wikipedia

“According to two different sources, Abramovich first met Berezovsky either at a meeting with the Russian businessmen in the Caribbean in 1993[36] or in the summer of 1995 on the yacht of his friend Pyotr Aven.[37]

Berezovsky introduced Abramovich to “the family“, the close circle around the then president, Boris Yeltsin, which included his daughter Tatyana Dyachenko and chief security adviser, Alexander Korzhakov.[36]

“Together with Berezovsky, Abramovich founded the offshore company Gibraltar-registered Runicom Ltd. and five Western European subsidiaries. Abramovich headed the Moscow affiliate of the Swiss firm, Runicom S.A. In August 1995, Sibneft was created by Boris Yeltsin’s presidential decree. It was rumored that Abramovich was the chief of the organization with Berezovsky promoting the business in higher circles.[17]

“In 1995, Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky acquired a controlling interest in the large oil company Sibneft. The deal took place within the controversial loans-for-shares program and each partner paid US$100 million for half of the company, above the stake’s stock market value of US$150 million at the time, and rapidly turned it up into billions. The fast-rising value of the company led many observers, in hindsight, to suggest that the real cost of the company should have been in the billions of dollars (it was worth US$2.7 billion at that time) [38][39] Abramovich later admitted in court that he paid huge bribes (in billions) to government officials and obtained protection from gangsters to acquire these and other assets (including aluminium assets during the aluminium wars).[40]

“As of 2000, Sibneft produced around US$3 billion worth of oil annually.[41] Abramovich established several “fly-by-night” firms and together with Boris Berezovsky used them to acquire the stock of Sibneft.

“The Times claimed that he was assisted by Badri Patarkatsishvili in the acquisition of Sibneft. [42][43][44][45] After Sibneft, Abramovich’s next target was the aluminium industry. After privatisation the ‘aluminium wars’ led to murders of smelting plant managers, metals traders and journalists as groups battled for control of the industry. Abramovich was initially hesistant to enter into the aluminium business, claiming that “every three days someone was murdered in that business”.[46] He famously emerged as one of the winners of the aluminium wars.[42] The Times stated that in a BBC investigation into Abramovich’s wealth, reporter John Sweeney noted that, after the oligarch (Abramovich) emerged at the top of the trade, the murders stopped.[47]Wikipedia

Russian and Rich: Art’s New Tastemaker June 12, 2008 “soft opening” for the Garage: Among those milling about were young European aristocrats like Charlotte Casiraghi, daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco; New York collectors including the cosmetics heir Ronald S. Lauder and the hedge-fund manager Steven A. Cohen; powerful New York dealers like Larry Gagosian; and artists like Jeff Koons.”

A Brief History of How Dasha Zhukova and Roman Abramovich Conquered the Art World …In happier times. ArtNet  Caroline Goldstein,

Summer 2008: The pair unveil their joint-venture, the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, at a 300-guest soirée headlined by Amy Winehouse. Garage was established through Zhukova’s IRIS Foundation with funds from Abramovich and other patrons; it is initially housed in a Constructivist-era bus garage. This is a big year for the couple: They also get married—though that fact would only become public in 2015, when a Wall Street Journal article reveals that they had wed in secret.

“2009: Dasha Zhukova joins board of trustees at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“June 2015: Garage moves to a Rem Koolhaas/OMA-designed space in Gorky Park. The Modernist building opens to international fanfare with two Kusama infinity rooms, a ping-pong table by Rirkrit Tiravanija, and a slew of celebrity guests including Woody Allen and Leonardo DiCaprio’s mother. With the expansion of the museum, Zhukova continues to bolster its programming, creating the only system of grants for young artists in Russia and opening a 15,000-volume research library.

“October 2015: In a nod to her molecular biologist mother, she donates $1 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create a distinguished visiting artist position. (The first recipient, announced in 2016, is Pedro Reyes.)

“July 2016: Media conglomerate VICE takes a controlling stake in Garage Magazine.

“November 2016: Zhukova is elected to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees. (She is also a founding member of the board of New York’s forthcoming cultural center the Shed.)

“2017: Timed to coincide with the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art bills itself as the largest survey of contemporary Russian art practice. The event runs from March 10–May 14, and features 63 artists ranging from 19 to 69 years old. As reported by Page Six, the couple appear together at the opening.”

Wendi Deng-backed Artsy wants to change the way people buy art Artsy wants to create the world’s largest marketplace for art and is among a growing band of companies leveraging technology to demystify and open up the once-stuffy world of art dealership South China Morning Post Iris Deng  May 11, 2018 /”Now Artsy, an online art platform co-founded by Chinese-American businesswoman Wendi Deng Murdoch, is seeking to change the way people find and buy art by connecting users of its website and app to galleries and museums around the world, allowing them to mine big data functions, participate in live auctions and even preview how a painting may look in their home via the use of clever technology.

“Its recently-introduced augmented reality (AR) function allows users to ‘project’ an art work on to a wall and ‘see’ how it might fit into their living room. AR is a form of virtual reality where the real world is expanded upon or enhanced in some way through the use of virtual elements.

“Augmented reality apps help amateur interior designers ‘see’ their dream home
“Deng Murdoch, once married to media mogul Rupert Murdoch, co-founded Artsy in 2009 with Carter Cleveland, a Princeton-educated computer science engineer and the company’s CEO, and Sebastian Cwilich, who was trained in mathematics research and is the firm’s president and chief operating officer.”