William (bill) Browder

Picture of William (bill) Browder

Date of birth: 23.04.1964

Age: 52

Place of birth: Chicago

Citizenship: United States


William "Bill" Felix Browder (William "Bill" Felix Browder) was born April 23, 1964 in Chicago (according to other sources, in Princeton, New Jersey). He was the grandson of Earl Browder (Earl Browder), leader of the Communist Party of the United States from 1932 to 1945, who was removed from his post for attempting to dissolve the party and the failure of the introduction of the revolutionary struggle against capitalism. William`s father, Felix Browder (Felix Browder), who was born in the USSR from the Earl`s wife, Raisa Berkman, and went on to become a mathematician, served as a professor at Rutgers University (Rutgers University) in New Jersey.

Start a career

Childhood and adolescence Browder held in Chicago in 1985, he graduated from the University of Chicago (University of Chicago) with a BA in Economics with honors. After that, he entered the school of business at Stanford University (Stanford Graduate School of Business), where in 1989 received a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Browder then was hired by Boston Consulting Group, in the company Browder went on to investments in the Central and Eastern European countries. During one of the trips to Poland after the start of market reforms Browder put their personal savings, 4 thousand dollars in bus factory and one year regained the already 40 thousand. Since 1989, Browder moved to live in the UK and subsequently, in 1997, became a citizen of this country, abandoning the US. There he went to work for a media tycoon Robert Maxwell (Robert Maxwell) and worked with him until his death in 1991.

In 1992, Browder went to work at Salomon Brothers, which went on to invest in Russia. In those years iz-za rapid devaluation of the ruble and hurriedly carried out the privatization of foreign companies to extract excess profits from the purchase of state assets. So Browder said that 2.5 million dollars he was able to purchase Salomon Brothers for the entire fleet of fishing trawlers in Murmansk, the real value of which amounted to about a billion dollars. Received for investment in 1992, $ 25 million by 1995, Browder returned to the company 100 million. After that, he decided to do his own business, established in April 1996, together with the Lebanese banker Edmond Safra (Edmond Safra), the founder of New York`s Republic National Bank, the investment fund Hermitage Fund.

Hermitage in Russia

Asset management is undertaken by the fund Hermitage Hermitage Capital Management (or Hermitage Asset Management), in 1997 there were actually two fund Hermitage Fund and Hermitage II (later the differences between them do not). Firms were recorded on the island of Guernsey, Browder became Managing Director in them. Funds specialized in investment funds of large institutional investors. In Russia, the fund has worked through a number of companies: according to the Interior Ministry, these included the LLC "Cameo", LLC "Pythagoras Investments" Ltd. "Parfeninon", OOO "Swallowtail", LLC "Rylands", LLC "Baikal-M" and other . "Parfeninon", "Rylands" and "Swallowtail" controlled by proxy through a Cypriot offshore corporation HSBC - one of the largest financial and banking groups in the world, founded in 1865 and has inherited the name of the bank-founder of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

By investing the initial $ 25 million Safra and private investors in Russian companies by early 1998. Hermitage Capital has brought the amount up to $ 1 billion. Among the main objects of the fund`s investments have become oil companies: most of the Hermitage of profits in 1997, received from the shares of the companies "Yukos", "Slavneft", "Sibneft" and "KomiTEK". However, the company received recognition not only for successful investment, but also for active defense of their interests. In 1997, the group "Onexim" Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov decided to issue additional shares of the company "SIDANCO" tripled the share capital and thus dilute two percent (according to other sources, four percent) share of Hermitage Capital Management, however, the investment fund has decided to stop it, and finally got to the Federal commission for the securities market (FCSM) has canceled the additional issue: as a result, the cost of the asset in the Hermitage "SIDANCO" only increased in price.

Iz-za financial crisis in the Asian markets by July 1998 Hermitage investments depreciated by half (from 1 billion to 500 million dollars). Although the fund is not buying up short-term government obligations in 1998, the August default has hit of Hermitage, whose assets have decreased as a result of the crisis even stronger, up to 125 million dollars. In 1999, after the death of Safra, Browder was the sole owner of the company and became its CEO. By 2000, its assets rose again to 450 million dollars. By 2001, it was reported that the principal owner of the fund Hermitage became a banking group HSBC. In November 2004, it sold its 39.33 percent stake for $ 3.4 million of some of Berkeley Advisors Inc. By 2008, the Hermitage called themselves the clients and consultants group HSBC.

Browder continued to defend its interests in major Russian corporations, whose minority shareholder is of Hermitage, in passing, he declared the fight against corruption in their leadership. In 2000, the fund managed to adjust the plans of RAO "UES". In 2000, Browder was involved in the displacement of Rem Vyakhirev as head of "Gazprom": together with the other minority shareholders of Gas Corporation, he demanded the resignation of the government and its leaders organized a press campaign exposing the gray scheme of gas supplies to Europe and the withdrawal of assets from the company. As a result, in 2001 the gas company headed by Alexei Miller. At the same time, Browder said that he likes Putin`s reforms and its fight against the oligarchs. It is noteworthy that Browder and welcomed the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is accused in a bad attitude towards minority shareholders of "YUKOS", but then said that in prison Khodorkovsky "redeem" their guilt.

In 2002, the Hermitage demanded the resignation of Andrei Kazmin as head of the "Savings Bank" after the bank paid the additional issue of shares and sold it on the stock market at a lower price, not allowing them to buy minority shareholders, including Hermitage Capital. Kazmin did not resign, and minority shareholders through the court also did not have pre-emptive right to purchase shares. In 2002, the Hermitage sued auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers: it came to the relationship of the gas concern and the company "Itera" at Vyakhirev iz-za previously minority shareholders of "Gazprom" demanded his resignation. Despite the scandal, PricewaterhouseCoopers auditor remained under the new leadership of "Gazprom". In 2004, the Hermitage filed a lawsuit against the "Surgutneftegaz", whose co-owner and general director Vladimir Bogdanov was demanding repayment of treasury shares owned by the subsidiaries, but to achieve this Browder failed. Similar conflicts over shares from the Hermitage were with "Lukoil" and "Rosneft".

In 2007, it was reported that the Hermitage Capital assets were estimated at $ 4 billion, and the company`s investors were more than 6000 investors from 30 countries. Browder called the largest foreign investor in Russia, and from 1996 to 2004, the profitability of the Fund amounted to 990 percent.

ban on entry to Russia "Magnitsky case"

In November 2005, Browder suddenly been denied entry to Russia: According to the businessman, his visa was revoked iz-za that his person allegedly threatened the national security of Russia. The press reported that the reason for the ban on entry was precisely his work to defend the rights of minority shareholders, as well as the process of return to state control of a controlling stake of "Gazprom". Until 2007, in the absence of Browder, the fund headed by its director Vadim Kleiner, corporate research, previously a former member of the committee on the reform of RAO "UES of Russia": he sold almost all Russian assets of the company, returning money to investors.

Until March 2006, Browder did not tell the press about his ban on entry into Russia. At the economic forum in Davos in January 2007, he was able to meet and talk with the First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: he asked him about that he be reinstated visa. According to Browder, a few weeks later in the Hermitage called Lieutenant Colonel Artem Kuznetsov and offered to meet with the management of the fund, hinting that the successful resolution of problems with the visa Investment Fund will have to provide him with the documents of personal interests, but representatives from the Hermitage of the meeting decided to give up.

In June 2007, in the Hermitage, and serve it with the 1996 audit of the company Firestone Duncan, led by Jamison Firestone, the search began, due to suspicions in the creation of schemes of tax evasion by means of an extensive network of subsidiaries. During the searches were seized documents, computer data and print fund Russian organizations Browder. According to investigators, the subsidiaries fund illegally registered through Kalmykia on society of persons with disabilities, to buy shares of Russian strategic enterprises, including "Gazprom", "Surgutneftegaz" and "Rosneft". Then Browder announced that the Interior Ministry has implemented raider seizure of three of its subsidiaries, including the Company "Cameo" using confiscated during the search seals and documents. Immediately after the searches in 2007. The employee Firestone Duncan Sergei Magnitsky began an independent investigation in order to protect the interests of the investment fund and found that 5.4 billion rubles in taxes (or about 230 million dollars), paid in 2006, captured by the subsidiaries of the investment fund, have been withdrawn from the Russian treasury by the new owners as "overpaid". Also, Magnitsky testified that law enforcement officials illegally seized movable property of Hermitage, handing it over to the management of the company OOO "Pluto", Director General of which had previously been convicted for the murder of a resident of Kazan, Viktor Markelov. It was reported that the new owners of Russian companies ( "Parthenon" personally led Markelov) eliminated them. It is noteworthy that in April 2009 the Moscow City Court found Viktor Markelov guilty of fraud to steal 5.4 billion rubles from the budget of Russia and sentenced him to five and a half years in prison, but the fate of the stolen money is still unknown.

Nevertheless, in 2008 it was reported that Browder and control otdelenieminvestitsionnogo Russian fund Hermitage Ivan Cherkasov absentia been charged with tax evasion, a consequence they are declared the federal wanted list, and then, in 2009, and in mezhnarodny. However, later in the Interior Ministry said that the criminal case against Mr Browder was not initiated. Also not continued and three criminal cases, which reportedly "Moskovsky Komsomolets", alleged to have been brought against a businessman in 2006. The media speculated that it was buying shares of oil companies and provoked the pressure on the fund.

In 2007, the Hermitage switched to the markets of the Middle East and rapidly increased its investment stake in the Gulf, Asia and South America to 2.8 billion euros. Fund Manager for non-Russian assets became Hermitage Global. Browder himself in the interview began to urge fellow investors from investments in the Russian economy and subsequently stated that Russia has turned into a criminal state.

November 27, 2008, Magnitsky was arrested on Hermitage case. He was charged with facilitating the organization of evading payment of taxes in especially large amounts. October 16, 2009, he died in jail "Sailor`s Silence" by pancreatic necrosis. The death of a lawyer has been found by examination, it was caused by the poor conditions in the prison and insufficient, inadequate medical care. His death sparked an international scandal, after which several officials of the Federal Penitentiary Service were dismissed (FSIN).

In summer 2010, Browder with Firestone began to publish on the site "Stop the untouchables!" and video hosting YouTube materials exposing police officers, including Kuznetsov and Pavel Karpov, who allegedly created a criminal scheme for stealing the assets of the Fund, as well as money from the state budget of Russia, and in addition, have been implicated in the murder of Magnitsky. In response, Karpov has accused Firestone Browder and libel.

In June 2011, the newspaper "Kommersant" reported that the case of Browder was transferred to the General Directorate of the Interior Ministry in the Central Federal District to assess the prospects for further investigation, and the Browder was expelled from the investigative framework. The transfer case connected with the request of Russian President Medvedev to deal in cases involving the death of Magnitsky. At the end of December 2011 MOI for the CFA Separated Browder and Magnitsky case because according to investigators the crime was committed "in complicity with other persons."

Other positions, awards and personal life

Browder has served as chairman of the Department of Russian Studies of the Institute of International Finance in Washington, DC (Russia Task Force for the Institute of International Finance), is a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD; OECD). In 2005, Browder was awarded the title of "young global leader" at the World Economic Forum, he also is a member of the Institute Aspenovskogo (Aspen Institute) - a non-profit organization engaged in discussion forums on leadership.

About Browder`s personal life little is known. It has been reported that he is married to a citizen of the UK and due to this marriage became a citizen of this country. They have two children. The press wrote that Browder enjoys skiing, sailing, travel, as well as collecting art in the style of socialist realism. The press wrote that because of the employment Browder has not mastered the Russian language, despite the fact that he had lived in Russia for more than 10 years.