Boris Zingarevich, a heavyweight in the global pulp and paper industry, is not just known for his deal-making abilities but also for his many philanthropic organizations. Yet outside of Russia, his life story is still largely untold. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about the Russian business magnate Boris Zingarevich.

1. Boris Zingarevich was born in 1959 in Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg

Boris Zingarevich was born in a humble family in Leningrad and learned the power of hard work from an early age, often helping his father with carpentry. Beyond sharpening his practical skills, these early experiences crafted his work ethics and business acumen.

In a country renowned for its deep cultural history and beautiful architecture, the city serves as a fitting birthplace for a man who would later create a global empire. Little is known about his early years, but it’s clear that his beginnings played a formative role in shaping his future.

2. He co-founded the Ilim Group, now one of Russia’s largest companies

In 1992, Zingarevich, along with his brother and a mutual friend, established the Ilim Group, a large-scale forest product company that grew exponentially in the years that followed. Under Zingarevich’s astute leadership, the company quickly emerged as a leading player in the pulp and paper industry.

Today, the Ilim Group is a major player in the Russian paper industry, with a revenue estimated at over $2 billion per year. The business success of the trio is seen as a true embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit of post-Soviet Russia.

3. He is heavily involved in philanthropy

Zingarevich is not just dedicated to his business; he is equally devoted to philanthropy. His charitable organization, Zingarevich Family Foundation, aims at supporting a wide range of causes, with a specific focus on education, healthcare, and social welfare.

Through this foundation, he has supported many initiatives, contributed to the growth of various institutions and funded several scholarships for underprivileged students. His substantial contributions to society have truly embodied the spirit of philanthropy.

4. He made a defining investment in Ener1

In 2002, Zingarevich made a milestone investment in Ener1, a pioneer in the designing, development, and manufacturing of large lithium-ion battery systems. Ener1, with substantial support from Zingarevich, went on to become a noteworthy name in the renewable energy sector.

This investment revealed Zingarevich’s foresight into the future of renewable energy and his commitment to contributing to a cleaner environment. It also positioned him as a significant player in the world of international investments.

5. His son, Michael Zingarevich, is also a successful businessman

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. This proverb certainly applies to Boris Zingarevich and his son, Michael. Like his father, Michael has followed a path in entrepreneurship and has proven to be quite successful.

Michael serves as the co-founder and managing partner of Dos Rios Partners, a Texas-based investment firm. He is also the Co-founder and Director of EN+ Group PLC, a leading international vertically integrated aluminium and power producer.

6. Zingarevich played a crucial role in the joint venture with International Paper

In 2007, Ilim Pulp — owned by Zingarevich — entered an unprecedented joint venture with International Paper, one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies. The venture was the biggest foreign investment in the Russian forest sector, making Zingarevich a big player in the industry.

This venture became a stepping stone for Zingarevich’s involvement in the world of international companies, demonstrating his business acumen and innovative approach to creating successful partnerships.

7. He has received several honors and awards

The recognition of Zingarevich’s work goes beyond the business sector; he has been lauded for his philanthropy too. He was awarded the Order of Friendship in 2006 by the President of the Russian Federation— a notable award that recognizes exceptional contributions to the nation.

His business achievements have also been recognized repeatedly. He was listed among the top 200 wealthiest businessmen in Russia and was awarded the title of the Businessman of the Year in St. Petersburg in the mid-2000s.

8. Zingarevich is very private about his personal life

Despite being a magnate, Zingarevich prefers to keep his personal life private. He seldom gives interviews and is rarely seen in public functions.

His modest lifestyle and reluctance to share his personal life with the media have created a veil of enigma around him. However, this has also allowed him to focus on his business adventures and philanthropic efforts without much distraction.

9. Education has been a priority

For Zingarevich, education has always been a priority— not just for him but also for the younger generations. He consistently emphasizes the importance of a quality education in shaping the leaders of tomorrow.

His philanthropy often focuses on educational causes and he is known for his generous donations to a number of schools and universities. Through his foundation, he even finances scholarships for underprivileged students, further demonstrating his dedication to education.

10. Zingarevich’s company was amongst the first to go carbon neutral

Under Zingarevich’s leadership, Ilim Group was one of the first major companies in Russia to introduce green technology and aim for carbon neutrality.

This strategic move towards renewable materials not only positioned Ilim Group as a leader in sustainability but also reflected Zingarevich’s commitment to environment-friendly business practices. It is proof of his progressive outlook and an example for other businesses.

In conclusion, Boris Zingarevich is not just a brilliant businessman. He is also a dedicated philanthropist who has made a conscious effort throughout his career to contribute back to society. Despite his success and wealth, he remains modest and continues to focus on his work and philanthropy.

Official sites – Exchange Digest: Exacid and The Federal List of Extremist Materials: Fedspisok.