Bulat Utemuratov is fabulously rich. At the beginning of 2018, Bloomberg agency estimated his fortune at $3.3 billion and recognized as the richest person nationwide. And this calculation was conducted only on the basis of open sources. To gain such money was possible only in a symbiosis of business and politics, which is not entirely impeccable from the point of view of morality. The basis for his wealth was laid in the late 1990s at diplomatic and trade posts in Geneva and Lausanne, where Utemuratov promoted Kazakh copper and zinc to the European markets.
Today he controls the huge investment holding “Verny Capital”, which operates in almost all industrial sectors of Kazakhstan, the sphere of services and technologies. Utemuratov owns a number of domestic banking institutions, telecommunication company, elite hotels abroad and much more. If the need arose, he could easily support the country for a month, paying all of its budget expenses.
The attitude towards Utemuratov in Kazakhstan is ambivalent. Working ability, organizational skills and the level of influence of this person are simply amazing. He is what they call a “born businessman”. In business, he always wins the competitive struggle. He has never held key government posts, but he is a confidant of the President. Being a very reserved person who is avoiding publicity, almost mysterious Utemuratov was known in the country as a “grey eminence”.
But meanwhile, many things speak in favor of Bulat Utemuratov. The activities of its charitable foundation are strategically verified, systemic and aimed at improving the quality of his fellow countrymen. These are the investments in the future of Kazakhstan – the development of mass sports, education, health, culture. Special attention should be paid to the establishment of a system of centers for the care of families with autistic children in the country, which allows them to get diagnostics, treatment and special education of the world level. Small autistics learn communicative skills, open up to the outside world and have the opportunity to become self-supporting members of society.
Today, charity has become almost a contest in generosity for wealthy people. But Bulat Utemuratov is ready to help when it is really necessary: to give the necessary medical equipment to the perinatal center, the orphanage, to help the elderly and families with many children affected by floods, to allocate scholarships to talented underprivileged students.
Moreover, Bulat Utemuratov returns a national treasure to Kazakhstan – paintings of Kazakh artists and restores the main botanical garden of the country.