Stan Polovets (born June 8, 1963) is a Russian American businessman and philanthropist. He is known for his work in the international energy sector and for his innovative philanthropic initiatives.
|Occupation||Businessman and philanthropist|
|Organization||L1 Energy/Alfa Group, Genesis Prize Foundation, Access Industries, Edelman, Stanford University, New York University|
Polovets played a notable role in the creation of TNK-BP, one of the largest joint ventures in the global energy industry, which operated in 2003-2013 and controlled more than 18% of Russia’s total oil production. He held a number of executive and board posts and was instrumental in its subsequent divestment in a record $55bn transaction.
Polovets is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the President’s Global Council at New York University (NYU), and the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution, a think-tank based at Stanford University.
In the philanthropic realm, he is the co-founder and chairman/CEO of the Genesis Prize Foundation, a global philanthropic initiative focused on enhancing Jewish identity, which operates in partnership with the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel (Sokhnut).
Personal life and educationEdit
Stan Polovets was born in 1963 in Moscow, USSR. His family immigrated to the United States in 1976, and he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1983. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Northridge (1985), and attended Stanford University, graduating with an MBA and MA in 1989.
Stan Polovets lives in New York City, with his wife, Erina, and their three children.
Prior to graduate school, he worked as an analyst for Exxon. After graduating from Stanford Business School, Polovets moved to New York to work at the global headquarters of Ernst & Young, where he was responsible for establishing the company's consulting business in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Polovets also worked for the management consulting arm of KPMG and for the RAND Corporation, a public-policy think tank in Santa Monica, California.
In 1992, he established RPI, Inc., a boutique communications and consulting firm focused on the Russian energy sector. Until the company’s sale in 1998, he served as its CEO and was an Advisor to the Minister of Oil and Gas of Turkmenistan and to the General Director of Mazeikiu Nafta, Lithuania’s national oil company. RPI’s two flagship publications, Russian Petroleum Investor and Caspian Investor, continue to be published by Thomson Reuters.
TNK-BP and AAREdit
In 2001, Polovets joined Tyumen Oil Company (TNK), an emerging Russian oil producer, as Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions. In 2002-2003 Polovets represented TNK in a $15 billion merger with BP that led to the establishment of TNK-BP. The landmark 2003 merger became the largest corporate transaction in Russia and the single largest foreign investment in a Russian company at that time. The company established as a result of this merger eventually became one of the world’s ten largest non-state oil producers, comparable in size with such companies as Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Statoil. It operated in Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Venezuela and Vietnam.
Between 2003 and 2006 Polovets held a number of senior executive posts in the TNK-BP Group, including Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff to TNK-BP’s President Bob Dudley, who currently serves as the CEO of BP.
In 2006 Polovets briefly left the TNK-BP Group to become First Vice President of Uralsib, a major Russian financial institution. In 2007 Polovets became the CEO of the Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR) Consortium, which held a 50% stake in TNK-BP. In that capacity, he represented AAR on the Board and Board Committees of TNK-BP, as well as its key subsidiaries and affiliates, including Slavneft (a joint venture with Gazpromneft) and TNK Trading International (TTI, an international trading subsidiary).
In 2011, Polovets played a leading role in AAR’s legal battle against BP, which was also a 50% shareholder in TNK-BP. BP announced it was entering a strategic alliance with Rosneft in a bid to access to Russia’s Arctic reserves, bypassing TNK-BP. AAR filed a lawsuit seeking to block it. Represented by Skadden Arps, AAR argued that the alliance violated the provisions of BP-AAR Shareholder Agreement, which designated AAR as the exclusive partner for all BP investments in Russia and Ukraine, and TNK-BP as its only vehicle for such ventures.
AAR won an injunction from the High Court of London that blocked BP from entering a strategic alliance and executing a share swap with Rosneft. The Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal made a similar ruling, upholding AAR’s position and preventing BP’s attempted alliance with Russia’s state-owned company. AAR’s successful bid to block the BP-Rosneft alliance paved the way for AAR’s successful cash-out from TNK-BP two years later.
In 2013 Polovets played a key role in executing the sale of AAR’s 50% stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft for $28bn. BP also sold its TNK-BP stake to Rosneft in a parallel transaction, making the $55bn sale of TNK-BP the largest M&A deal in Russia’s history, and the largest M&A transaction in the global energy sector in a decade. Between 2003 and 2013, AAR shareholders received more than $20bn in dividends from TNK-BP and saw the value of its stake grow from $7.5bn to $28bn, making it one of the most successful investments in the history of the oil and gas industry.
Current Business AffiliationsEdit
Following the sale of TNK-BP, Polovets became the Lead Director on the Board of L1 Energy, Alfa Group’s $10bn vehicle for international oil and gas investments. Other L1 Board members include former BP CEO Lord John Browne, ex-Chairman and CEO of Anadarko James T. Hackett, and Chairman of BG and former Schlumberger Chairman and CEO Andrew Gould.
In November 2014, Stan Polovets joined the Board of Directors of Clal Industries, a major Israeli holding company with a diversified portfolio of investments in industrial, manufacturing, hi-tech and consumer sectors. As the Lead Non-Executive Director, his board role includes assisting Clal management in such areas as portfolio management, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic development. Clal is owned by Access Industries, a privately held industrial group with long-term holdings in natural resources, chemicals, media, telecoms and real estate, owned by American entrepreneur and philanthropist Len Blavatnik.
Polovets is the co-founder and Chairman/CEO of the Genesis Prize Foundation. The Foundation awards an annual $1 million Prize to exceptional human beings whose achievements will inspire and instill a sense of pride in the next generation of Jews. The Prize has a permanent endowment of $100 million and is administered by a partnership between the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, the Genesis Prize Foundation, and the Office of the Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel (Sokhnut). In 2013 former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg became the inaugural Genesis Prize Laureate in recognition of his outstanding lifetime achievement in public service, business and philanthropy. Bloomberg deferred his $1m award so it could be used to fund the Genesis Generation Challenge, a competition among young adults to find the next big idea that will measurably improve the world. On January 14, 2015, The Genesis Prize Foundation announced that actor Michael Douglas was selected as the second Genesis Prize Laureate. Renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman was announced as the third Genesis Prize Laureate on December 14, 2015. Stan Polovets is also a co-Founder and CEO Emeritus of Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), one of the largest private foundations in the field of Jewish philanthropy, with offices in Moscow, New York City, and Tel Aviv. The foundation’s mission is to develop and enhance Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide.
Among GPG grantees are Taglit-Birthright Israel, Yad Vashem, Hillel, and Brandeis University, where GPG funded the establishment of the Brandeis-Genesis Institute of Russian Jewry. Polovets served as the founding CEO of GPG from its inception in 2007 until July 2014. He represented GPG on the boards of several non-profits funded by GPG, including serving as Vice Chairman of Hillel Russia.
In 2003, Polovets established, funded, and managed the Vnimanie Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Russian children with learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. The Board of Vnimanie included many prominent individuals, including the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The Executive Director of Vnimanie Foundation was Sergei Filatov, who previously served as President Boris Yeltsin’s Chief of Staff.
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