Guerman Aliev is a Russian millionaire, former Merrill Lynch banker, and private equity titan.That’s all good, but the best thing about his job is that he happens to also be the majority owner of Ford modelling Agency.
Now we know as well as you do that bankers don’t need to own a modelling agency to lure a pretty, 6-foot-tall vixen onto their arm, but it can’t hurt.
Moscow-born Aliev is the chief of Altpoint Capital Partners, a New York-based private-equity firm that owns a 93% stake in Ford.
Aliev worked for seven years with Merrill Lynch in London as a director of the bank’s capital-markets business director of global equity derivatives, after a stint in the finance department at Gulf Oil.
He left Merrill in 2001, worked in ECM at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein until 2003, and then became director of Capital Markets for Rosbank. In 2006 he joined billionaire and oligarch “Vladimir Potanin‘s Interros Holding Company in Russia.
Interros now is the biggest investor in the funds managed by Altpoint,” Bloomberg reports.
Aliev earned a Msc in Finance from London Business School.
Aliev is trying to boost the Ford brand this week by capitalising on New York’s Armory Art expo. “Ford as a brand is much stronger than the revenue it generates. Our foray into the art world is a way to expand the brand,” he explained.
So he’s funding a new arm of the modelling agency called fordPROJECT — a gallery located in a duplex penthouse on West 57th Street.
He’s allocated between $1 million and $1.5 million a year for his gallery, according to Bloomberg.
If the project is successful, Aliev told the WSJ he’d consider launching Ford-branded galleries in other countries too: “It’s too early to tell. I don’t rule out other markets, but I’d like to see how the U.S. concept plays out.”
The current exhibition here in New York is called “Involuntary,” and is inspired by involuntary physical responses. Hence if you decide to visit, you’ll be confronted by works that include Ryan McGinley’s photo of a man vomiting and Laurel Nakadate’s video, entitled “Exorcism in January,” starring the artist twitching in front of the camera.
As for whether his better half is a Ford employee… we couldn’t find anything to that effect.
Aliev told us: “I’m sorry to disappoint, but in reality I have no interaction with the models. The two companies are run completely separately, however it’s easy to see how imaginations can run wild!’