Britain’s richest man isn’t even British — it’s Ukraine-born billionaire Len Blavatnik.
Blavatnik is worth $US20.1 billion, rising to prominence after his privately held industrial group, Access Industries, purchased Warner Music Group for $US3.3 billion in 2011.
Since investing in tech giants Spotify and Beats, his wealth has ballooned, propelling him to the top spot from the number four spot on the Sunday Times Rich List just last year.
From hanging out with famous musicians to partying on his yacht, get to know Britain’s richest man.
Blavatnik attended Moscow University of Railway Engineering until his family immigrated to the US in 1978.
In 1986, Blavatnik founded Access Industries, a privately held industrial company. Initially, AI was involved in Russian investments but has since diversified its portfolio.
Access Industries earns its fortune through three major sectors: natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, and real estate.
Blavatnik has partnered with Faena Group since 2000 to transform Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, Argentina, into one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in Argentina.
Blavatnik also has an interest in fashion. His company became the first and largest outside investor in leading worldwide retailer Tory Burch when it purchased 20% of the company in 2004.
AI acquired Atlantic, Warner Bros. Records, Rhino, and Warner Music Nashville when he purchased Warner Music in 2011. He also recently picked up Parlophone, a British music label that manages the likes of Coldplay and Two Door Cinema Club.
Blavatnik owns AI Film, the independent film and production company that's behind acclaimed film Lee Daniels' The Butler and the summer 2015 release Mr. Holmes.
The billionaire splits his time between New York and London. In 2004, he bought his first UK property on Kensington Palace Gardens, an area in London where the mega-rich reside. He spent years refurbishing the home -- it's now worth an estimated value of over $315 million.
Late last year, he purchased famed New York Jets owner Woody Johnson's apartment in Manhattan for $75 million.
Blavatnik is married to Emily Appelson Blavatnik. Together they have four children -- two boys and two girls. It's rumoured that Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran -- clients of WMG -- were hired to perform at Blavatnik's daughters' bat mitzvahs.
Blavatnik hosts an exclusive luncheon aboard his yacht, The Odessa at Old Port, during the Cannes Film Festival in France every year along with film partner and friend Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Company.
The billionaire is a notable and global philanthropist. The Blavatnik Family Foundation has been a generous supporter of cultural and charitable institutions for more than 15 years: It proudly supports The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art, The Royal Academy of Arts, and Colel Chabad, a 20,000-square-foot food bank and warehouse in Israel. He recently made a donation of $20 million to Tel Aviv University (TAU) to launch the Blavatnik initiative.
In 2007, Blavatnik created the New York Academy of Sciences Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists. The annual awards recognise achievements of young postdoctoral and faculty scientists in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Each year, three unrestricted cash prizes of $250,000 are also awarded to America's most innovative scientific researchers.
In 2010, he donated $117 million to University of Oxford in England to establish The Blavatnik School of Government (BSG). It's the youngest department at the University -- its first class of 38 students was admitted in 2012 to the Master in Public Policy program.
Blavatnik's fortune grew in 2013 when JPMorgan Chase was ordered to pay him $50 million after he claimed they wrongfully advised him, causing him to lose 10% of his $1 billion investment.
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