A company with a royal scene helped Abramovich spread his wealth

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Will Luce

(Bloomberg) —

Roman Abramovich’s British business empire extended far beyond the Chelsea Football Club. Among the people who helped with the construction were start-ups with well-known names.

MC Peat & Co. Has served as a matchmaker in several transactions combining Abramovich’s funds with UK micro-enterprise over the past decade and has worked as a broker for at least three companies backed by Russian billionaires.

The company was founded in 2011, just as Michael Pete embarked on a new chapter after leaving Prince Charles’ secretary role and gaining a knightly career in the royal family.

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Michael Pete joined the board of directors of Abramovich’s steel giant Evraz Plc in 2011, and his son Charlie, then 30 years old, ran a new advisory company.

Peat & Co. Arranged from Abramovic’s vehicle to invest in Oxford’s clean energy startup, a herbicide-free herbicide manufacturer that aims to run diesel trucks on natural gas.

Pete, a descendant of one of the founding partners of accounting giant KPMG, is part of the lucrative cottage industry of connected British people who helped Britain open the door to Russia’s wealth. However, the “board ruler” has long been a common tactic among newcomers seeking status in the city of London, but the oligarch relationship as sanctions were cut off after Russia invaded Ukraine. Has gone from beneficial to toxic.

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Michael Pete, 72, resigned with most directors in March after sanctions were taken, earning more than $ 2 million in 11 years of service.

Peat & Co. The website previously said he helped set up the company and was an adviser, but Charlie Pete says it wasn’t right. “I’ve never been interested in, involved, or played a role in the company,” his father told Bloomberg News.

Strong partner

Peat & Co. Has had some influential alliances from the beginning. Eugene Shvidler was described by the British government as Abramovich’s “long-time business partner” when he sanctioned businessmen in March, and Chelsea-signed soccer player Andriy Shevchenko Pete and after Abramovich bought the club. I became a director of the company.

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According to company filings, Schbidler has maintained that position for about a year, and Shebchenko remains in that position. Valley Oyf, Chief Executive Officer of Highland Gold Mining Ltd, a Russian mining company supported by Abramovich at the time, is Peat & Co. The spokesman told Bloomberg News that he provided a loan to support the launch costs of. October 2012, Peat & Co. Has been appointed as a broker by Highland Gold.

In the same year, AFC Energy, the developer of alkaline fuel cells listed on the AIM stock market for small companies in the UK, was Peat & Co. Has been appointed as a broker. The company helped raise around £ 10m ($ 13m) from Abramovich’s investment vehicle, according to a spokesman for AFC and regulatory filings.

Other successful referrals followed. Peat & Co. Assisted Abramovich and Schbidler’s wife in a broker investment in Clean Air Power Ltd., a UK-based technology developer aimed at reducing carbon emissions from truck engines. We also introduced Abramovich, the same investment company owned by Pete and Company Green Herbicide Weeding Tech. The spokesman said.

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Famous family

After being educated at Eaton and Oxford, Michael Peat embarked on a career in the city and became a partner of KPMG’s predecessor, Pete Marwick Mitchell, in 1985. His great-grandfather was a founding partner, so his name resonated there. P stands for Pete.

Initially, Pete, who was sent to the royal family to support financial reform, was asked to hold positions such as the Keeper of the Privy and the Keeper of the Privy, and finally the Secretary of Prince Wales. Those missions gave him the status of a knight and made him Sir Michael Pete.

Charlie follows in the footsteps of his father and steps into the city, where he works for the Anglo South African company Investec, then goes to Dubai to help build a relationship with the sovereign wealth fund, and stock broker Collins Stewart. Worked at.

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Father and son

Michael Peat, then 61, resigned as courtier in 2011. Among the few private sector jobs he undertook was Evraz’s senior independent director, whose substantial shareholder was Abramovich, who was preparing to go public on the London Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, Charlie Pete has built a relationship with Abramovich’s circle, including Oif, a spokesman for Pete and Company said. The connection came through Oif’s company Highland Gold, where Pete was introduced by Fleming Family & Partners, a family office run by relatives of James Bond creator Ian Fleming.

A young Pete played golf with Shebchenko and interacted with American businessman Michael Matrine, who helped Abramovich invest in a hedge fund, according to a spokesman for Pete and Company.

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Peat & Co. Was founded with the purpose of introducing investors to small, fast-growing companies. In addition to working for wealthy Russians, it has advised other companies such as Indian infrastructure funds and green technology company AuhuaClean Energy, according to regulatory filings.

The arrangement was successful. Peat & Co. Has deposited hundreds of thousands of pounds of profits from its advisory services in banks almost every year since its inception. The advisory work seems to have been paid primarily to Charlie Peat, who manages important ownership of the business.

Grand Ambitions

Peat & Co. Four years after the company was founded, the father and son turned to new opportunities and founded a real estate investment company called The Regeneration Group. Michael Pete was the chairman of a venture with Charlie responsible for the capital markets.

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Abramovich’s connection resurfaced. Shevchenko has become a shareholder. Matlin, who runs the investment consultancy Concord Management LLC, participated as a non-executive director. Another executive who worked at Abramovich’s family office also worked as an Abramovich consultant.

The group sought a major acquisition, including the purchase of Hyde Park Barracks. People familiar with this issue said they did not want to be identified because the plan was private. But it struggled to raise money for the desired large-scale project, people said. The Regeneration Group still has a website, but the company’s latest filings show £ 1 of net worth.

Party over

Britain’s crackdown on the acquisition of citizenship by wealthy Russians in 2018 meant that Abramovich faced a delay in renewing his British visa. He acquired Israeli citizenship and began to disburse British investments in 2020, including AFC Energy and Highland Gold. Pet and Company’s Russian business has cooled, and the company has put more emphasis on British investors.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March caused a raft of stricter measures, such as the British sanctions on Abramovich and the sale of Chelsea. Michael Pete and other non-executive directors have resigned from Evraz’s board of directors. Abramovich has transferred ownership of at least some of his remaining British assets to people near him. Peat & Co. At least one company that was advised by recently consulted a lawyer to understand the implications of having a licensed shareholder.

Charlie is Peat & Co from the office address just a short walk from Buckingham Palace. Continues to operate.

© 2022 Bloomberg LP


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A company with a royal scene helped Abramovich spread his wealth

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