Baltic States Wealthiest People
- New Europe Investor
- November 18, 2014
Today, New Europe Investor looks at some of the richest individuals emerging from the Baltic States.
The Baltic States wealthiest people do not match those of Western Europe in terms of net worth. However, in recent decades, the region has seen great transformations, firstly with the breakup of the Soviet Union and secondly, access to the common market of the European Union. This has led to many changes and many opportunities to accumulate personal wealth.
This article profiles the wealthiest individuals of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania today.
Figures are based on 2014 estimates.
Estimated Net Worth – €383 million
Hillar Teder started out in property development, where he has been responsible for some large shopping centres in Estonia and beyond. In the late 1990s, he began by developing a number of shopping malls in Tallinn. He then went into Technology Parks and Office buildings.
In 2001 he moved into retailing in Russia, where he now owns the O’Key Group or (Okay), one of the largest retailers in the country.
His current shopping centre empire includes nine locations in the Ukraine at different stages of development. Five of them completed.
Among his other achievements include the selling of a juice company to Coca Cola in 2005.
Estimated Net Worth – €259 million
In 1995, straight after university where he studied Banking, Finance and Lending, Oleg Fils joined a small regional bank called Aizkraukles, named after the city of the same name, where it was located.
It was then part of Bank of Latvia.
Some years later, the bank separated and began to expand into Riga. Eventually he and his number two, Ernest Bernis took over operations and moved the bank forward to be one of the most prestigious and largest private banks throughout the Baltic region today.
2011 saw it become ABLV Bank and has offices as far as Azerbaijan, Russia and Luxembourg among many others. Oleg and Ernest now each have a 47% stake in the company.
Oleg’s talents also run into the sports field, where in his younger days he represented the Latvian national football side.
Combined with other investments, his personal fortune stands at €259 million.
Estimated Net Worth – €1.23 billion
Finally, we move onto the wealthiest man in Lithuania, who incidentally is also The Baltic’s wealthiest, and by some distance.
Nerijus Numavicious holds the title of the first Baltic Billionaire, impressive considering he has yet to reach his 48th birthday.
Nerijus with his two brothers and six others founded the Vilniaus Prekyba Group in 1992. It is a holding company, primarily for food and pharmaceutical chains that include Maxima and Euroapotheca.
In the early days, Nerijus was associated with real estate, stocks and anything else capitalising on the early days of post-Soviet privatisation.
VP Group’s chains, with its other subsidiaries have expanded into Poland and Bulgaria, buying up other retail businesses. They currently have their eye on expanding into the energy market.
Nerijus is Chairman and President of VP Group, and he expanded his shareholding from 36.9% to 73% in 2010. He has also fallen out with his brothers, one of whom he is currently going through lengthy legal proceedings with.
Nerijus is Chairman of International Business School at Vilnius University, and a Member of the Lithuanian Business Confederation.
November 2013, saw tragedy strike a Riga branch of Maxima, where the roof collapsed killing 50 people inside.
His current fortune is estimated at €1.23 billion, making him the first and only billionaire in the Baltic Region.