Radiant splendor and noble simplicity of Viktor Rashnikov
Metal industrialist Viktor Rashnikov is one of the wealthiest and most influential people in Russia. His fortune is mentioned in Forbes ratings. All his mansions, aircraft, and yachts are super-luxurious. Rashnikov hides his assets in offshore territories – but some of those still can be found.
“Viktor Rashnikov is a self-made person. Under his rule, one of the biggest metallurgical enterprises in the country has been dynamically developing, increasing production volumes and assortment, modernizing its production capacities, and, being a city-forming enterprise, investing funds into social projects, – this is how the Press Service of Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MISW) describes its Chairman of the Board of Directors. – He is a Doctor of Technical Sciences, member of the Management Bureau of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Honorary Citizen of the Chelyabinsk Region and City of Magnitogorsk, Chairman of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of the Chelyabinsk Region, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Metallurg Charitable Fund, and President of Metallurg-Magnitogorsk Ice Hockey Club”.
Rashnikov began his career at Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works in 1967 as a fitter in the metallurgical equipment repair shop. He successfully advanced through ranks and was appointed the Chief Engineer and First Deputy General Director of MISW in 1991. In 1997, Rashnikov became the General Director of MISW. He started buying up MISW shares and acquired the control block in the 2000s. In 2005, Rashnikov became the Chairman of the Board of Directors of MISW.
Concurrently with the business, Viktor Rashnikov was building his political career. He was elected a Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Chelyabinsk Region five times and a Deputy of the State Duma from Edinaya Rossiya (United Russia) Party two times – but then he had declined the Deputy’s seat. He also was an aide to presidential candidate Vladimir Putin.
During one of the call-in shows on TV, Vladimir Putin has spoken of Rashnikov as follows: “I had visited Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works and saw how the enterprise is developing. I must commend the management and shareholders. Rashnikov is a good manager. Not only because the enterprise is developing and new technologies are introduced – but also because a lot is done for people’s well-being and in the environmental sphere”.
Rashnikov owns palaces making earls and kings envious, one of the largest yachts in the world, and a top-notch business jet.
In September 2016, Architectural Digest (AD) magazine has published a photo report about an estate 6 thousand square meters in size in the Moscow region. The magazine describes the mansion resembling the Palace of Versailles as follows: "balance between the aesthetics of old neoclassic palaces and modernity, between the amazing, radiant splendor and noble simplicity". Its creator is Joseph Karam, a famous French architect of Lebanese origin. To build an estate in the metropolitan area, Karam had retained hundreds of art studios and workshops, artists, smiths, drapers, stonemasons, and cabinet makers.
It took six years to design and build the unique palace.
In addition to the main manor, the property includes four other structures. In total, there are 118 rooms in the estate. The first floor of the main manor features several showrooms located around the large guest room – perhaps, the most impressive part of the building. “It is covered by a 13-meter-high dome; private premises and apartments of the owner, his daughters, and grandchildren have exits to the rotunda decorated by marble columns,” – Architectural Digest reports.
The interiors feature the Empire and Pompeian styles. Some premises reconstruct the atmosphere of Louis XVI of France and Marie Antoinette. Concurrently, touch screens and consoles are installed everywhere – so, it is possible to control the lighting, audio, video, window shutters, and curtains in every room.
The article describes the estate of Viktor Rashnikov in Riita community on Rublev-Uspenskoe highway – although the magazine does not provide the owner’s name. The cadastral value of the lot 27.8 thousand square meters in size is 142 million rubles ($2.2 million). The palace is worth dozens of millions of dollars. According to the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre, and Cartography (Rosreestr), Rashnikov acquired the lot in 2005.
Viktor Rashnikov is married and has two daughters. The younger one, Olga, became a member of the Board of Directors of Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works in 2016. Forbes estimates her wealth at $3.5 billion. In 2005, she started working at MISW as a Senior Manager of the Economy Department. In 2011, Olga became the Financial Director and joined the Board of Directors a year later. In 2014, Rashnikov said in an interview to Businessofrussia.com portal that, as a father, he is delighted with successes of his daughters and their personal development. According to the businessman, his older daughter, Tatiana Rakhno, “is successfully running a business”, while “Olga decided to dedicate her professional skills to the enterprise... Hopefully, her knowledge and experience, as well as modern approaches to the management, contribute to its further development”.
Of course, 118 rooms are not enough for Viktor Rashnikov. His Villa Nellcote located in a respectable Nice suburb on Côte d'Azur – Villefranche-sur-Mer – features 16 more rooms.
Ex-banker Eugene Thomas built Villa Nellcote in the late 1890s. The building is monumental and spacious; its front is decorated by marble columns of the Ionic order. Initially, the villa was named Amicitia. In 1919, well-known ship operators purchased this property. During World War II, it had accommodated the local Gestapo, and, according to traveler's guidebooks, a swastika was allegedly found in the basement. In the 1970s, Rolling Stones band had lived in Villa Nellcote for six months. The band had to leave Britain because of its high taxes – so, Keith Richards rented the building, and the musicians composed their songs there. A documentary entitled "Stones in Exile" and dedicated to that period was filmed in 2010. Currently, the villa is fenced with barbed wire from every side, including the sea. According to some information, it was difficult to sell this property because of its odious fame.
Rupres.com portal found out that Villa Nellcote officially belongs to SCI Nellcote Baie de Villefranche. This French company was incorporated on September 5, 2007; its charter capital is €100 thousand; while its legal address is 10 Avenue Louise Bordes Quartier de Grasseuil Villa Nellcote 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer. Some Nadia Philippides administers the legal entity, but, according to an excerpt from the business registry, on April 19, 2013, the Rashnikov family, in the person of Olga Rashnikova, became its owner. Currently, the company is co-owned by Viktor Rashnikov, his daughter, and Cyprus-based Callistephus Entreprises Limited belonging 100% to Viktor Rashnikov. According to the documents, a mortgage was taken out at an interest rate of 1.648% to purchase Villa Nellcote; its maturity date is July 31, 2024. The official value of the property is €83 million. The original mortgage amount was €44 million plus a credit of €8.8 million on additional structures.
Villa Les Figuires – also belonging to Viktor Rashnikov – is located on the adjacent lot. Its official owner is SCI Baie des Figuiers, which has the same co-owners as SCI Nellcote Baie de Villefranche. The property was mortgaged on the same terms. The original mortgage amount was €6 million plus €1.2 million on additional structures. The second villa may be possibly used as a guesthouse or personnel house.
Interestingly, Callistephus Entreprises Limited belonging 100% to Viktor Rashnikov has the same legal address as Mintha Holding Limited owning 84.26% of shares in Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works.
Aside from the super-elite real estate, Viktor Rashnikov also possesses luxurious transportation means. In the past, he used to travel by a Bombardier Global 5000 business jet. But in 2018, the businessman has listed the aircraft worth $25 million for sale. The business jet with side number VP-BJN was built in 2008, and, according to aviatracking services, up until the end of 2017, it had flown between Vnukovo Airport in Moscow and the Magnitogorsk airport regularly. Alberto Pinto Interior Design developed the interior design of the aircraft able to transport up to 13 passengers.
Bombardier Global 5000 belonging to Viktor Rashnikov
On that same year, Rashnikov acquired a brand new Gulfstream G650ER business jet with side number VP-BOT. According to its producer, "Gulfstream's flagship, the G650ER, extends the nonstop reach of the industry's highest performance long-range business aircraft to 7,500 nautical miles/13,890 kilometers at Mach 0.85. Flying even faster at Mach 0.90, the G650ER will carry eight passengers 6,400 nautical miles/11,853 kilometers. Both are feats that no other business aircraft in the world can achieve". The aircraft has 16 panoramic windows; at customer's option, it is possible to install ten sleeping beds and up to 19 chairs in the cabin. Gulfstream G650ER features a kitchen, an air cleaning system, and smart home technologies. Its basic cost is $60–75 million.
Gulfstream G650ER belonging to Viktor Rashnikov
Cabinet Alberto Pinto developed a special design for the oligarch's Gulfstream G650ER. "Luxury ran through his veins, –said François de Ricqlès, President of Christie's France, of Alberto Pinto, a celebrated interior decorator who died in 2012. – He had a great sense of proportion and knew how to create extraordinary interiors". Alberto Pinto Interior Design, under sister Linda Pinto's management, strong of a team of 80 employees, rigorously perpetuates what made the Master's success. Eclecticism, luxury details, and refinement remain the key words when it comes to creating entire universes for its prestigious clients, including Arab sheiks, American magnates, and British hoteliers: private residences, office buildings, airports, hotels, yachts, and jets. Interiors produced by Cabinet Alberto Pinto feature large chandeliers, carpets, tapestries, gold, and marble.
The web site of Cabinet Alberto Pinto does not include a detailed portfolio of the aircraft interior designed for Rashnikov; only one photo is available on Instagram – and it clearly indicates that the configuration of his plane is anything but basic. One-time business jet servicing in Vnukovo costs €6–12 thousand, not including refueling, while its annual maintenance cost is €3–4 million.
The flight map of the oligarch’s aircraft is pretty diverse. In addition to regular trips from Vnukovo to Magnitogorsk and back, he frequently visits the Netherlands, Berlin, Sochi, Zürich, Nice, Salzburg, London, and even Mauritius Island in the Indian Ocean.
Gulfstream G650ER belonging to Viktor Rashnikov
To travel by water, Rashnikov uses one of the largest yachts in the world – Ocean Victory – managed by Camper and Nicholsons leisure marine company well-known among moneybags. The vessel is 140 meters (i.e. 1.5 football fields) in size. It has 13 cabins, seven decks, six swimming pools up to 8 meters in size, a helicopter pad, a spa with an area over 300 square meters, top-notch automation systems, and an elevator connecting all the decks. The crew consists of 50 persons. Ocean Victory is estimated at some $400 million. Above-mentioned Cabinet Alberto Pinto has developed its interior design. The previous yacht of Rashnikov (also named Ocean Victory) was only 76-meter-long. In 2014, he sold it to a cabinet minister of Equatorial Guinea – and it was renamed into Ebony Shine. New Ocean Victory is frequently spotted in the Mediterranean Sea near Turkish and Croatian resorts. Up until 2018, the vessel was among the ten biggest yachts in the world – but then 141-meter-long Yas belonging to a sheik from the United Arab Emirates was launched. According to marinevesseltraffic.com, Ocean Victory is currently sailing in the Mediterranean Sea not far from the coast of Italy.
Rashnikov used to combine the lawmaking and business activities and, therefore, had neither received salary in the regional parliament nor disclosed his revenues. The most recent publicly available data on the earnings of Victor Rashnikov are dated 2007. At that time, he has declared an income of 293 million rubles ($4.5 million). Forbes estimates his wealth at $8.9 billion and ranks the oligarch the 14th richest and 69th most influential businessman in Russia.