With the net worth of $1.1 Billion, Alexander Lebedev is the #1124 richest person on earth all the time in our database.
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In 1977, Alexander Lebedev entered the Department of Economics at Moscow State Institute of International Relations. After he graduated in 1982, Lebedev began working at the Institute of Economics of the World Socialist System doing research for his Kandidat (between master's degree and doctorate) dissertation, The problems of debt and the challenges of globalization. He transferred to the First Chief Directorate (Foreign Intelligence) of KGB. According to The Sunday Times, as a KGB spy, he was based at the Soviet embassy in London from 1988. He worked for the KGB's successor, the Foreign Intelligence Service, until 1992.
Upon leaving the Russian intelligence community, Lebedev set up his first company, the Russian Investment-Finance Company. In 1995 this bought the National Reserve Bank, a small Russian bank which was in trouble at the time. The bank subsequently grew rapidly to become one of Russia's largest banks. Among the bank's assets are:
Lebedev's first wife was Natalia Vladimirovna Sokolova, daughter of the scientist Vladimir Sokolov, with whom he has one child, Evgeny Lebedev. They separated in 1998.
In 2003, Lebedev stood as a candidate for elections to the Mayoralty of Moscow and the State Duma. He received 13% in the Mayoral elections, losing to Yuriy Luzhkov, but won a seat in the State Duma on the Rodina party list (he was actually number one on the Moscow regional list of the party). He remained in the Duma until 2007, when new elections were held. In the Duma, he initially moved from nationalist Rodina to the pro-Government United Russia fraction, but after Rodina was merged into the larger social-democratic coalition Fair Russia, he made his return.
The bank is the core of the group of companies holding National Reserve Corporation, that according to Lebedev's personal site owns around US$2 billion of assets. In March 2006, Forbes estimates Lebedev's fortune as high as US$3.5 billion, but as of July 2013 he dropped out of the billionaires list and is no longer considered to be a billionaire.
In September 2008, Russian politician Mikhail Gorbachev announced he was going to make a comeback to Russian politics along with Lebedev. Their party was called the Independent Democratic Party of Russia.
On 21 January 2009, Lebedev and his company Evening Press Corporation, part of Lebedev Holdings, bought approximately a 75.1% of share in the Evening Standard newspaper for £1. The previous owners, the Daily Mail and General Trust, continue to hold 24.9% in the company in the new firm, named Evening Standard Ltd. Lebedev promised to not interfere with the editorial running of the paper. Lebedev commented that during his time as a spy in London, he used the Evening Standard to find information. Paul Dacre, the editor-in-chief of the Evening Standard at the time of the sale said: "It's a very sad day for the paper, it's a very sad day for the Rothermeres. We are very sorry that it leaked out, we had no control over that. Everyone's been working very hard and there's a lot of hope for the future of the Evening Standard."
In 2009 he entered into exclusive negotiations with Independent News & Media to buy the company's British national newspapers, The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. Before the purchase was completed, his representatives offered the editorship of The Independent to Rod Liddle, former editor of BBC Radio 4's Today Programme. The offer was withdrawn after Liddle's putative appointment was opposed by the newspaper's staff and by a campaign online. On 25 March 2010, Lebedev bought The Independent and Independent on Sunday for £1.
In March 2009, Lebedev announced that he would be running for mayor of Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, but a court ruling declared his candidacy invalid on 13 April 2009. The court ruling was a result of a complaint by another candidate, Vladimir Turukhanovsky, that Lebedev's campaign received three donations from minors that is forbidden by Russian electoral law. According to the chief of Lebedev's electoral campaign, Artyom Artyomov, the three teenagers were led to Sberbank by a staff member of the Sochi council, given 500 rubles each (approximately $20), and told to donate the money to Lebedev's campaign. His campaigners sent the money back the same day it was received but still it was found sufficient to disqualify his candidacy. Lebedev said that he intended to appeal the court's decision.
In September 2011 while appearing on a Russian television programme, he punched a fellow guest, billionaire property developer Sergei Polonsky (Сергей Юрьевич Полонский). Lebedev claimed afterwards that he had reacted to Polonsky's threat of violence towards him. Lebedev was later charged with hooliganism and sentenced to community service for that incident.
In 2012, National Reserve Bank (NRB) faced difficulties: corporate deposits decreased by 2.2bn rubles, retail deposits by 1.2bn rubles. 20% of the bank's liabilities had run off by the end of January 2012. In March 2012, two top managers left the bank.
On 5 November 2012, Lebedev announced he would close all the regional offices of the National Reserve Bank and sell off the real estate as well as 75% of the bank's loan portfolio, worth 16.8bn rubles ($542m). Also in November 2012, Lebedev announced that he is selling off his assets in Russia.
Lebedev publicly supported the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea. In 2017 he held a media symposium in his hotel complex in Alushta, Crimea (so he claimed) "to correct an impression of Crimea put out by a biased western media".
In 2019, he published a book titled Hunt the Banker: The Confessions of a Russian Ex-Oligarch.
Currently, Alexander Lebedev is 61 years old. Alexander Lebedev will celebrate 62nd birthday on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.
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