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Ivan Glasenberg – Biography Of South African Mining Billionaire

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Nowadays, aspiring and existing entrepreneurs have enough shoulders to climb on. Gone are the days when entrepreneurs find it difficult to crack the business success codes. Today, there are several successful entrepreneurs they can study to build the business empire of their choices. In this article, I’ll be talking about one such person – Ivan Glasenberg.

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Ivan Glasenberg is the chief executive officer of Glencore, a successful commodity trading and mining company. Ivan is also on the board of Minara Resources Ltd. He is a citizen of South Africa, Australia as well as Swiss.

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

Read this article to learn about his background, family, business career and so much more.

Early Life Of Ivan Glasenberg

Ivan was born on 7th January, 1957 in South Africa. His parents names are Samuel Glasenberg (a former luggage manufacturer and importer born
in Lithuania) and Blanche Vilensky.

While growing up, he lived in Illovo, Gauteng with his family. As a young boy, Glasenberg was an athlete and interestingly, became a national junior champion in race walking in his early 20s. He is a champion race walker for both South Africa and Israel.

Ivan holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Accountancy from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. In addition, he is a Chartered Accountant [CA(SA)]. He also received an MBA from the IBEAR Program at the University of Southern California in 1983.

Ivan takes his fitness and health seriously, hence, he engages in running and swimming on a daily basis.

In 1984, he tied the knot with Elana Beverly Orelowitz and they are blessed with two children. Currently, they live at Ruschlikon in Switzerland.

See Also: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – Biography Of The First Female President In Africa And Nobel Peace Laureate

Ivan Glasenberg

Business Career Of Ivan Glasenberg

Before Glencore, Ivan worked with Nexia Levitt Kirson, a firm of Chartered Accountants for five years.

His Journey To Glencore International

Glencore is an abbreviation of Global Energy Commodity Resources. It is a British multinational commodity trading and mining company founded as Marc Rich & Co. AG in 1974. The founder’s name is Marc Rich, a billionaire commodity trader. Glasenberg joined Glencore in 1984 working in the coal department in South Africa and Australia.

Also, he managed Glencore’s Hong Kong and Beijing offices from 1989 to 1990. Due to hard work and dedication to duties, he became the head of the company’s coal department in 1991. Then, in 2002, he became the CEO of Glencore.

Under his leadership, Glencore has become the world’s biggest commodity trading firm. The company is ranked tenth in the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest companies and has operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria and Venezuela.

See Also: Johann Rupert – Biography Of The Second Wealthiest Man In South Africa

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

Glencore Xstrata

On May 2nd, 2013, Glencore and Xstrata merged to create a multi-billion mining company. After the merger, Glasenberg assumed the position of the CEO.

Meanwhile, it was reported that Mick Davis (Xstrata CEO) was supposed to be the CEO while Ivan would be the President in a merger-of-equals transaction.

But during the negotiations, the commodities trader, Glencore increased its offer for Xstrata to 3.05 Glencore shares for each of Xstrata’s share. This was largely after Qatar sovereign wealth fund, Xstrata’s second-largest investor, threatened to block the deal. Glencore had previously offered 2.8 shares for each of Xstrata’s shares.

After the merger, Glasenberg became the CEO while Davis left the company in July 2013.

See Also: Louise Mushikiwabo – Biography Rwandan Secretary-General Of OIF

Boards Where Ivan Glasenberg Serves

  • Xstrata Plc, Executive director, since 2002
  • Minara Resources Ltd, Non-Executive director, since 2000
  • Rusal Plc, since 2007
  • Century Aluminum Co, between 2010-2011

See Also: Wendy Luhabe – Biography Of A Successful South African Entrepreneur

Loss Faced By Ivan Glasenberg

Glasenberg faced his fair share of loss in August 2011. Due to economic climate, he lost GB£788 million as his share price dropped by 13.2% leaving his 15.8% of the company worth GB£4.7billion.

However, Ivan being a future-forward businessman started buying shares of Glencore with his dividends that same year. He bought additional US$54million of Glencore stock.

As of April 2012, he held more than 15% of Glencore’s stock. This made him the 20th richest mining billionaire with Forbes estimating his net worth at US$7.3billion.

See Also: Michiel Le Roux – Biography Of A Billionaire And The Founder Of Capitec Bank

Ivan Glasenberg Net Worth

According to Forbes Asia in 2016, Glasenberg did not meet up with the cut off of the 50 wealthiest Australias by net worth. However, in 2017, the Financial Review Rich List estimated his net worth to be A$6.85billion.

Ivan Glasenberg Quotes

“When you are doing a major merger, you got to hope you didn’t get it wrong. That’s the view of any CEO.”

“We work. You don’t come to Glencore to take life easy. And we all got rich from it. So, you know, there’s a benefit from it.”

“A lot of deals are done or not done because chief executives are not fully aligned to shareholders.”

“We want people who work for us to be entrepreneurs. We like them to look at ideas, chase ideas and not to be what I call a caretaker of an asset.”

See Also: Tony Elumelu – Biography Of The Founder Of Tony Elumelu Foundation

“You’ll sacrifice a lot of things in the early part of your career to be successful, but to be ahead of your competitors, you have to work hard.”

“Many people may say that luck is important, but I think you create your own luck by working hard to ensure you don’t miss opportunities.”

“I stopped focusing on people being different, and I started treating everyone the same way.”

“If you want to grow in the fixed asset space and you want assets which is clear, I think if you want to be big in this commodities space, you need
to buy assets.”

See Also: Patrice Motsepe – Biography Of South African Mining Billionaire

Entrepreneurial Lessons From Ivan Glasenberg

Have A Listening Ear

Glasenberg practices an open communication style with both employees and clients. He is open to networking and believes in creating time to listen to innovative suggestions from others. Ivan is not the kind of CEO that sits back and tells the employees to get the job done. He gets his hands dirty as well and he creates time to engage with his employees.

In addition, his colleagues and associates describes him as approachable, open-minded man who is available to everyone in his company. Likewise, all business owners must understand that effective communication is key when building a business. Not just to employees alone, but also to the clients.

See Also: Cyril Ramaphosa – Biography Of The Fifth President Of The Republic Of South Africa

Ivan Glasenberg

Stand Tall Amidst Competition

Glasenberg is highly competitive and he knows his onions. He believes that sacrifice can help you grow at the early stage of your career but hard work will help you stay competitive.

Over the years, he has invested significant time in excelling at all of his endeavors and this is evident in his achievement at Glencore.

Entrepreneurs need a good dose of hard work and innovation to stay ahead of competitions.

See Also: Judy Dlamini – Biography Of A Phenomenal Business Woman, Founder, Mbekani Group

Stay Fit And Healthy

Ivan stays true to this popular saying, “Health is Wealth”. He makes out time to maintain his health and stay fit by swimming and running daily. In addition, Ivan believes that without a healthy body and physical stamina, one cannot be prepared to take on the world of business acquisition.

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3 thoughts on “Ivan Glasenberg – Biography Of South African Mining Billionaire”

  1. Mr Ivan is one of the Greatest man with *****M***** who knows in which, in where and when he should be present at the opportunity, because not every affair is an opportunity

  2. Richard I. de la Cruz

    The article on Ivan Glasenberg is very nice, I like it and worth tracking. This article can inspires others to follow.
    Keep up the good works “Entrepreneurs”

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