|Source of wealth
|StroyGazMontazh, SMP Bank
Boris Rotenberg is the Russian bank SMP founder, and his brother Arkady owns the SGM Group, the largest construction company for gas pipelines and electrical power supply lines in Russia.
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He was a close confidant of President Vladimir Putin from his childhood when both men learned judo together in Leningrad (now St Petersburg).
SGM Group was involved in large infrastructure projects in Crimea, which after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, led to American sanctions on both brothers and their assets.
The U.S. Treasury claimed that Putin had awarded the Rotenbergs billions of dollars in Gazprom contracts and the Sochi Olympics.
EU sanctions followed but only covered property in Rome and Sardinia valued at €30m.
As Boris Rotenberg held Finnish citizenship due to a previous marriage to a Finnish citizen, he bypassed the sanctions. The assets included three villas in Eze, Nice, and Rotenberg’s racing team SMP Racing, which also trains drivers in Le Luc, France.
SMP Racing has a host of Russian drivers on its books, including ex Williams F1 driver Sergey Sirotkin and rising star Robert Schwartzman.
Rotenberg is a confirmed petrolhead and raced in various series from 2011 to 2014, with his most significant achievement coming 2nd in the 2012 – 24 hours of Barcelona race.
Rotenberg is interested in forming an all-Russian Formula 1 team using SMP racing and made clear his intentions back in October 2019 at the Russian Grand Prix when he said, “The more you try to create in motorsport, the more chance you have to flourish. Do we want to create a Formula 1 team? I think the more teams there are, the more opportunities there will be for our drivers.
“Everything is possible. The main thing is to make an effort. First of all, are the financial considerations.”
In 2020, Rotenberg planned to invest in Dutch car maker Spyker that would enable the company to resume producing a range of three sportscars in 2021, namely The C8 Preliator supercar, the D8 Peking-to-Paris SUV, and the b6 Ventator supercar.
Hoping to emulate Ferrari, McLaren, and Aston Martin with a sportscar manufacturer sponsoring their F1 team, Rotenberg ambitiously claimed, “Our group of companies will launch the Spyker brand successfully in the league of the world’s best super sports cars.”
Alas, it all ended in tears with the investment never materialising, and Spyker was filing for bankruptcy in January.
In May 2021, BR Engineering, the race car constructor, established by SMP Racing, released details of their third single-seater car, the BR03, explicitly developed for the Russian market.
Rotenberg may be down, but in all likelihood, he is not out, and no doubt is planning his next move in F1 aboard his brother’s $75m superyacht ‘Rahil’.
Does he have any billionaire toys?
Well, unfortunately, according to Forbes Russia, Swiss bank Credit Suisse refused to accept his loan repayments and put up for sale his Bombardier Global 5000 jet, worth $25m!
What influence does Boris Rotenberg have in F1?
Well, Liberty Media would like to expand the number of teams on the grid after the pandemic has ended. Sporting Director Ross Brawn commented to Russian broadcaster RT in July 2020, “If there were interest from a Russian team or any other that we thought was sustainable, then we would be fully open to exploring the opportunity.”prev View full list