Written by Access Industries
The president of Access Industries and current head of the Blavatnik Foundation was born in Russia, but emigrated here back in 1978. Six years later, Len Blavatnikwould be made a full-fledged United States citizen. Prior to coming here, he went to the University of Moscow. Later he received a Masters degree from Columbia. Always the overachiever, that was not enough for Blavatnik. Harvard also awarded him a Masters degree as well.
He founded Access Industries in 1986. It’s an industrial group that he presides over today and has a spot as chairman. The company currently has long-term holdings in three continents: North America, South America and Europe. Primarily, they invest in industries like coal, oil, aluminum, plastics and petrochemicals, communications, real estate and media.
Residing in Great Britain, the SundayTimes recognized him as the second richest man there. His nearly $12 billion net worth also earned him the spot as 80th richest man in the world by Forbes.
Aside from being an enthusiastic business man, Blatvatnik has a real passion for philanthropy which is what enticed him to start his Blavatnik Family Foundation. He sponsors a food bank in Israel that is 20,000 square feet. Those in need can eat there and he also sends out food to the poor on Jewish holidays. In 2010, his family’s foundation gave Oxford university one of its largest donations it has ever received: £75 million.
The Blavatnik Foundation just started its fourth year of doing good around the world. It’s a true testament to the marriage between commerce and charity.