CEO Spotlight

CEO Spotlight: Rinat Akhmetov, Founder of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation

Rinat Leonidovych Akhmetov, the founder and president of System Capital Management (SCM)

Rinat Leonidovych Akhmetov is well-known in Ukraine as a successful businessman and enthusiastic philanthropist. Akhmetov has used the success from his business dealings to make generous charitable investments that have benefited Ukrainian people for over a decade.

Rinat Akhmetov: The Successful Ukrainian Businessman

One of the most notable achievements of Rinat Akhmetov’s career was being named the head of Dongorbank in 1995, though today he is best known for his work with System Capital Management (SCM).

Akhmetov founded SCM in 2000, and it has since become one of Ukraine’s largest industrial and financial firms. The group has holdings in more than 100 businesses that are spread across the mining, metals, power generation, telecommunications, media, real estate, insurance and banking industries. Some of the group’s companies have been highly successful. For example, in 2001 SCM sold a 93 percent interest in Ukrtelecom for $1.3 billion.

SCM has recently reported total revenue of approximately $12.8 billion, with the cumulative assets of the group’s companies valued at more than $22.7 billion.

Rinat Leonidovych Akhmetov, the founder and president of System Capital Management (SCM)
Rinat Leonidovych Akhmetov, the founder and president of System Capital Management (SCM)

Rinat Akhmetov: The Football Club President

Shortly after becoming head of Dongorbank, Rinat Akhmetov was named president of the Shakhtar Donetsk Football Club. In his position as president, Akhmetov immediately began making investments in training facilities and players.

Akhmetov’s investments in the club paid off within a few short years, as the football club won multiple Ukrainian Premier League and Domestic Cup Championships. It also won a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) championship.

Part of Akhmetov’s investment in the club’s facilities included building Ukraine’s first football stadium that met UEFA standards. This allowed Ukraine to host Euro 2012, which brought prestige to the country and stimulated the economy.

Rinat Akhmetov: The Ukrainian Philanthropist

Since achieving his notable career success, Rinat Akhmetov has continually used that success to make substantial philanthropic gifts. His philanthropic efforts generally focus on improving societal issues within Ukraine. The following are some of Akhmetov’s largest donations:

  • $900,000 in 2007: Given to the families of the victims of the Dnipropetrovsk gas explosion.
  • $1 Million in 2011: Donated to support the Shelter Project and the construction of a new safe confinement cover for Chernobyl’s No. 4 reactor.
  • 12 Million food packages since 2014:  Akhmetov and his staff have donated food packages to residents who are in the conflict zone of the Donbas War.

In total, Akhmetov has given millions of Ukrainian hryvnia to charitable efforts annually. He regularly had his parliamentary salary deferred to charity, and on multiple occasions he’s been among the most philanthropic individuals in Ukraine. The following are some of his annual donations and his corresponding rank among Ukrainian philanthropists:

  • UAH 258,600 million in 2008 (Number 2)
  • UAH 155,650 million in 2010 (Number 1)
  • UAH 222,700 million in 2011
  • USD $19 million to oncology research in 2012

In 2009, the weekly Ukrainian business publication Kontrakty recognized Akhmetov as Ukraine’s top businessman-philanthropist.

Along with these monetary donations, Akhmetov regularly spends Saint Nicholas’ Day visiting children in Donetsk and Donetsk Oblast who don’t have parental oversight. These include orphans and children who are hospitalized. Akhmetov also formed the Foundation for Effective Governance in 2007.

Rinat Akhmetov Foundation: Akhmetov’s Greatest Philanthropic Achievement

Of all his philanthropic efforts, Akhmetov’s greatest achievement is the establishment of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. The foundation carries out Akhmetov’s desire to improve life in Ukraine for the general population, addressing the underlying causes of social problems in the country.

Since its establishment, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation has provided medical aid, supported children’s programs and offered humanitarian relief. Much of the foundation’s work is in the Donbas War’s conflict zone, where medical, prescription drug and children’s programs are greatly needed. The foundation is also involved in preserving the Donbas region’s Ukrainian culture through programs and media.

The foundation has worked with the Rinat Akhmetov Charitable Center, which was established after the foundation. The charitable center brought together the resources of the foundation, the football club and the SMC group, and it was able to offer aid on both sides of the Donbas War’s conflict zone.

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Sophie Ireland
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