Andris Berzins

Picture of Andris Berzins

Date of Birth: 10/12/1944

Age: 71

Place of birth: Nitaure

Citizenship: Latvia


Andris Berzins (Andris Berzins) was born December 10, 1944 in the village of Nitaure Vidzeme region. There he graduated from in 1958 seven-year school, and then until 1962 he studied at the first secondary school in Sigulda. Subsequently, during the three years he served in the Soviet army in 1971 Berzins graduated from the Riga Polytechnic Institute, specialty "radio engineering".

Even in 1970, Berzins took a job as an engineer at the company "Elektron" (Elektrons), which was engaged in repair of radio equipment. There he made a career and eventually became director of the company. Berzins also joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), he claimed to be a member of the party for career reasons.

In 1988, Berzins received the second degree - Faculty of Economics of the Latvian State University; according to some reports, where he specialized in the management of enterprises. In the same year Berzins was appointed Deputy Minister of Consumer Services of the Latvian SSR. Then, during 1989-1993 Berzins served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Council of People`s Deputies of the Valmiera district.

In 1990, Berzins was elected Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR from the Latvian Popular Front, a movement advocated the restoration of independence. At the same time he left the Communist Party. Berzins was one of the deputies of the Supreme Council voted May 4, 1990 for adoption of a declaration of Latvia`s independence from the Soviet Union. Universally recognized the independence of Latvia has received in August 1991.

In 1993, Berzins led the privatization department of the Bank of Latvia. In the same year, with the participation of 21 Berzins branch of the Bank of Latvia was established Latvijas Universala banka (Unibanka). Berzins became president Unibanka, most of which belonged to the state. At the same time as a result of the privatization of the bank`s management Unibanka received 14.4 percent of its shares, with the largest share went Berzins; in 1996 as a result of emissions, he had nearly 86 million shares of the bank. In addition, Unibanka different atypically high Management remuneration.

In 1998 Unibanka has been described as the largest Latvian bank. However, in 1997, he invested in the Russian short-term government bonds and as a result of the Russian default of 1998 they lost at least 15 million lats. In order to fix the financial situation of the bank, part of the shares in Unibanka were sold to the Swedish banking group Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB), and in 2000 Unibanka officially became a subsidiary bank of SEB, although the final absorption of the Latvian Bank Swedish group ended only in 2004 (in 2008 , the Latvian bank changed its name to SEB Banka).

In 2003, Berzins announced his retirement from SEB Unibanka; formally the new bank president Viesturs Neimanis (Viesturs Neimanis) took office in January 2004 [37], [13]. This Berzins was an advisor of the Swedish group SEB management and Latvian SEB Unibanka, and also became an honorary member of the board of directors of the Latvian bank.

In 2004, Berzins has acquired 22 per cent stake in the largest Latvian Lode supplier of building materials. In 2007, Berzins has sold its stake in Lode of 4.53 million lats.

In 2005, Berzins unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Riga and just as unsuccessfully participated in the election of the Riga thought of the centrist "Union of Greens and Farmers" (MCL) - although he is formally in the movement did not enter.

In November 2006, Berzins led the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and led it until 2010. In addition, from December 2006 to April 2009, Berzins was chairman of the board of directors of the state energy company Latvenergo.

When in December 2007, Berzins and two Latvian financier were invited to meet with the President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers, it has been suggested that it could act as a potential candidate for the post of prime minister. However, experts evaluated Berzins low chance of this post, pointing out that "in the first place, it recently too far from politics, and secondly, to enter into this sphere at that age already not easy."

In October 2010, Berzins, remaining non-party, was elected to the Saeima on the MCL list (in this case, he was one of three deputies with such name and surname in the new parliament). In this regard, it was stressed that Berzins was associated with MCL leader Aivars Lembergs, who was represented in the press as the Latvian "oligarch", whose influence was challenged by President Zatlers. The press pointed out that as an MP Berzins did not show significant activity, however, he was chairman of the national economic commission of parliament.

May 19, 2011 Berzins suggested its own candidate for the post of the President of Latvia. May 23, he became an official candidate for the presidency after his candidacy nominated five deputies of the Diet from MCL. June 2, 2011 presidential elections were held in the Diet. Rival Berzins made acting president Zatlers, who a few days before this started the procedure of dissolution of the Latvian parliament. In the first round of voting Berzins did not have a single vote for the victory: it was supported by 50 deputies, while for the incumbent president voted 44 deputies. In the second round of voting for Berzins voted 53 deputies, followed Zatlers - only 41 deputies. As a result, Berzins was elected head of state. July 8, 2011 the solemn ceremony of inauguration of the new president.

The press has highlighted a considerable fortune Berzins. In 2008, he was first on the list of the Latvian millionaires and then described as a multimillionaire. According to one quoted in the media tax returns, Berzins owned 32 plots of land in different regions of Latvia, shares in the farm, the car Mercedes-Benz 2007 model year, tractors, securities in the amount of several hundred thousand euros, and also had a cash savings of $ more than 1.5 million lats. At the same time he appeared as the richest pensioners in Latvia: its pre-tax monthly pension ranged from 4400 to 4900 lats (at the average pension in Latvia from 177 to 184 lats) and, according to some, was the largest in the country. It was also stated that Berzins lent to other people in different currencies over one million lats.

The press reported on the availability of compromising Berzins associated with its business activities, although it was not excluded that it was "information yellow tint."

Berzins enjoys tennis, do not smoke, according to his own words, "learn to drink moderately, too." In varying degrees, he speaks Russian, English and German.

In Berzins has a sister and two brothers. By the time of the election of President Berzins was more than twenty years, officially divorced. However, a week before his inauguration in July 2011, Berzins married his longtime girlfriend Dace Seysumoy, with whom he lived in a civil marriage for over ten years. She worked as a doctor-endocrinologist Clinical University Hospital named Pauls Stradins. From it at the time he was six year old son Kristaps Andris. From his first marriage Berzins two children. His first son Aigars, engineer by profession, as of 2011 had engaged in photography and five children. Berzins daughter Eva graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Latvia, and then seven years lived in the United States, where she was studying to be a psychologist and specialist in public relations. In the US, Berzins daughter married an American Manavuduge, who later worked in the bank SEB in Stockholm, they have a son. The names of older children Berzins contacted LLC Kajinas B, which, according to some sources, was created by Eve and a board member who was Aigars. It was reported that Kajinas B received financial assistance of the state of the village support for the construction of a complex of active rest, but tourism activities, apparently, did not lead.