Meet The 5 People Who Are About To Become Billionaires From The Huge Glencore IPO

Glencore CEO, Ivan Glasenberg

Glencore IPOs this month and it’s CEO, Ivan Glasenberg is being called the $10 billion man.He and 4 other execs at the commodities trading giant will become billionaires, if they weren’t already, when Glencore IPOs on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges on May 19th.

Meet them below.

The public debut of the commodities, minerals and energy trader has been much anticipated, and the Guardian compared the IPO to that of Goldman Sachs in 1999, with the firm’s partners in line for some very nice winnings as the firm crosses into the public sector.

“Following its flotation… Glencore’s partners will be sitting on shares worth, on average, $100 million each,” the Guardian reported.

Some “partners are also promised a $1bn dividend for 2011 that is expected to be paid in cash.”

12 senior Glencore executives own 31% of the company’s stock — that will be worth close to $19 billion “if the entire Glencore business is valued at $60 billion as expected.”

What this means of course, is the firm’s major players will now face a whole lot more media attention, if for nothing more than at least four of them are/will be billionaires.

“I can’t recall a flotation like it,” the BBC’s business editor, Robert Peston wrote, “in terms of the sheer number of executives emerging as wealthy beyond most people’s wildest dreams or expectations — not even the conversion of Goldman Sachs into a public company or the listing of Google.”

Lets start with the firm’s CEO, Ivan Glasenberg.

The Main Man

Glasenberg, who’s “short, dark and intense [and] talks in staccato bursts of facts, punctuated by snorts of laughter or derision,” will be worth about $10 billion when the company floats due to his 15% stake.

He was born in South Africa; he’s 54 or 55. He earned a BA in Accountancy from the University of the Witwatersrand, then worked as an accountant for five years, then got his MBA from USC.

He grew partial to the world of commodities trading after a candle-wax incident: “I observed a man sourcing candle wax from South America and selling it to Japan. I thought: ‘That’s unbelievable. Talking on the phone in his office, that man made money moving candle wax from one country to another.’ It really interested me,” he once said.

Glasenberg became part of the Glencore family in 1984, as an employee in the company’s coal department in South Africa and Australia. He quickly rose through the ranks — first scoring the role of head of the Hong Kong and Beijing offices in 1989, and two years later, appointed to run the coal department globally. He was made CEO in 2002.

He was apparently a “lieutenant” in the opaque “oil-trading inner circle” of billionaire commodities trader and now-pardoned tax-evader Marc Rich, who started Glencore and was involved in some not-so-lawful deals with Iran.

He’s charasmatic; has an army of “loyal lieutenants”; runs daily; and competed as “a champion race-walker” for Israel and South Africa (he almost competed in the 1984 Olympics, “but South Africa’s exclusion over apartheid put a stop to that“).

The Current Chairman

The newly-appointed chairman is Simon Murray, “whose recent interview with a U.K. newspaper in which he made derogatory comments about women and immigrants caused uproar,” will probably make a killing.  The 71-year-old is alsoa director or partner in 46 other firms.

The Former Chairman?

Glencore’s white-haired Chairman, Willy R. Strothotte, “is rumoured to own a stake of about 10 percent” in the company, which means his shares will amount to about $6 billion when the company debuts simultaneously on the FTSE and Hang Seng.

He’s 66, hails from Germany, and was Glencore’s CEO between 1993 and 2001. He also a director of KKR Financial Holdings, a Director of Minara Resources, and Chairman of metals and mining company Xstrata.


Glencore’s CFO is an Australian man called Steve Kalmin, who joined the company in 1999. He was made CFO in 2005. He’s about 40, and is married with one child.

The Copper, Coal, Oil and aluminium Heads

Other top Glencore executives who could be the fourth billionaire of which the BBC speaks, include Daniel Mate and Telis Mistakidis, (47 and 49 respectively) the co-directors who oversee zinc, copper and lead. “They each own 6.9% before the IPO, falling to 6 per cent after the offering,” according to Reuters. This makes them worth around $3.66 billion each.

And then there’s Alex Beard, who’s Global Head of Oil. His middle name is Frank, and he came to Glencore after five years with BP’s Crude Oil Department in 1995. “For the next 13 years, [he] specialised in his position as a FSU Trading Manager.” He’s 43 and his 4.6% stake will have his bank account surge to about $2.8 billion.

Tor Peterson is head of the coal department — he owns 5.3% of the company. He’s 46 and  “is expected to be worth around $3.2 billion.”

All the executives mentioned “are saying they won’t sell any of their shares for five years at least — that they won’t use the flotation to cash in. As for Glasenberg, he’s pledging not to sell even a single share till he steps down as chief executive.”

Here’s everything you need to know about the Glencore IPO >