Topic: Viktor Vekselberg

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Viktor Felixovich Vekselberg (Russian: Виктор Феликсович Вексельберг, Ukrainian: Віктор Феліксович Вексельберг; born April 14, 1957, Drohobych, Ukraine, Soviet Union) is the owner and president of Renova Group, a large Russian conglomerate.

Victor Vekselberg was born in 1957 in the Western Ukraine. Though his father is Jewish, he doesn't consider himself Jewish because his mother is Slavic. Orthodox and Conservative branches of Judaism are based on matrilineal descent, so Vekselberg is not considered Jewish by those denominations, whereas Reform and Reconstructionist branches recognize both matrilineal and patrilineal descent. He graduated from the Moscow Transportation Engineering Institute in 1979. In 1993, he became Chairman of the Board of Directors of Renova, one of Russia's most progressive investment and business development companies. After working as an engineer in an obscure state lab for many years, Vekselberg moved to business in 1990. He rose to prominence after Yeltsin's reelection in 1996 as co-owner and chairman of Tyumen Oil (TNK), one of Russia's largest oil and gas companies. He took a controlling interest in the company in 1997 and has subsequently developed a joint venture with BP. About the same time he co-founded SUAL Holding, which since grew to control Russia's second-largest aluminum business and is ranked ninth in the world. Later, he integrated those and other assets under the umbrella of Renova Group, delegating operating responsibilities to managers. Acting as a chairman of the executive board of TNK, he was instrumental in negotiating and establishing a 50-50 joint venture with British Petroleum in the largest private transaction in Russian history. He is currently a member of the board of directors and the vice-president of TNK-BP.

Vekselberg is now overseeing a vast restructuring of his assets: the division of property with partner Leonard Blavatnik, the merger of Renova's aluminium assets with those of Oleg Deripaska, and the integration of various electricity and telecommunications investment.

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