The rise of billionaire Len Blavatnik

Article by Angelina Z.

The Ukraine-born American investor Leonard Blavatnik is listed as one of the wealthiest men in the world with a net worth of over $16.7 billion.

The main reason for Blavatnik’s success was due to his need to expand his business in many different areas such as chemicals, real estate, and entertainment via Access industries.

The billionaire started his investment in the chemical company LyondellBasell but has recently spread his wings by buying Warner Music Group in 2011.

Blavatnik attended Moscow University of Railway Engineering and migrated to the US in 1978. Although for Blavatnik, US citizenship was only offered in 1984, he continued to work and study engineering in the US. After earning his master’s degree in computer science at Columbia University and his MBA at Harvard Business School, he founded Access Industries in 1986.

The company was mainly involved in Russian investments. However, as the company grew, Blavatnik chose to diversify his portfolio. The company became the first most significant outside investor in the upscale fashion and accessories brand Tory Burch in 2004 when it purchased 20% of the company.

In 2011, Access industries purchased Warner Music Group for $3.3 billion, which included Atlantic, Warner Bros. Records, Rhino, and Warner Music Nashville. The billionaire also acquired Parlophone, a British music label, which manages bands like Coldplay.

Blavatnik recently branched into the entertainment industry with talent manager Sarah Stennett to launch First Access Entertainment. First Access Industries will focus on talent and brand development, and represent artists, songwriters, and rights exploitation.