William Felix Browder

William Felix Browder

:"See also William Browder (mathematician)"

William Felix Browder (born in 1964) is the CEO and co-founder of the investment fund Hermitage Capital Management.


He is the grandson of Earl Browder, the former leader of the Communist Party, USA.cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=An Investment Gets Trapped in Kremlin’s Vise |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/world/europe/24kremlin.html?hp=&pagewanted=all |quote=For Mr. Browder, 44, Russia was more than a place to do business. His grandfather Earl Browder was a committed Communist from Kansas who moved to the Soviet Union in 1927, staying for several years and marrying a Russian. He returned with her to the United States to lead the Communist Party for a time, even running for president. |work=New York Times |date=July 24, 2008 |accessdate=2008-07-24 ]

He grew up in Chicago, Illinois and attended the University of Chicago for Economics. He received an MBA from Stanford Business School in 1989 where his classmates were Gary Kremen and Ryland Kelley. He later became a British citizen.cite web |url=http://hermitagefund.com/index.pl/asset_management/ceo.html |title=William Browder |accessdate=2008-07-24 |quote=William F. Browder is the Founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, the premier investment advisory firm specializing in Russian equities. The firm’s clients include high net worth individuals and major financial institutions. Hermitage Capital Management currently has around $3.3 billion invested in Russia. |publisher=Hermitage Capital Management ]

Browder worked in the Eastern European practice of the Boston Consulting Group in London and managed the Russian proprietary investments desk at Salomon Brothers.

He and Edmond Safra started Hermitage Capital Management in 1996 investing in Russia. His fund is a prominent activist shareholder in the Russian gas giant "Gazprom", the large oil company "Surgutneftegaz", Unified Energy Systems and "Sberbank". Browder repeatedly and prominently exposed management corruption and corporate malfeasance in these partly state-owned companies"Gazprom and Hermitage Capital: Shareholder Activism in Russia", Stanford Graduate School of Business Case IB-36, 2002] . He was quoted prominently: "You had to become a shareholder activist if you didn’t want everything stolen from you".

Although Browder was a supporter of Russian president Vladimir Putin, in 2006 he was blacklisted by the Russian government as a "threat to national security" and denied entry to the country. "The Economist" has accused the Russian government that this blacklisting occurred because he interfered with the flow of money to "corrupt bureaucrats and their businessmen accomplices".cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=An enemy of the people: The sad fate of a loyal Putinista |url=http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=349002&story_id=E1_VGGTGDT |quote=As the manager of a big Russian investment fund, Bill Browder has contributed to the circulation of the first kind of money--as well as making a packet for himself, and making his rich clients even richer. But he has also interfered with the supply of the second sort of money--and been ... |work=The Economist |date=March 25, 2006 |accessdate=2008-07-24 ]

As the New York Times reported in 2008, over the next two years, several of his associates and lawyers, as well as their relatives, were victims of crimes, including severe beatings and robberies during which documents were taken. In June 2007 dozens of police officers swooped down on the Moscow offices of Hermitage and its law firm, confiscating documents and computers. When a member of the firm protested that the search was illegal, he was beaten by officers and hospitalized for two weeks. Hermitage became victim of what is known in Russia as "corporate raiding": seizing companies and other assets with the aid of corrupt law enforcement officials and judges. Three Hermitage holdings companies were seized on what the company's lawyers insist are bogus charges.


External links

* [http://hermitagefund.com/index.pl/asset_management/ceo.html Biography on Hermitage web page]
* [http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/bmag/sbsm0611/feature_browder.html Profile of Browder in Stanford business school alumni magazine]

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